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“X” Farmer



Awhile back my husband and I went to visit a farmer, Don, who attends our church
Though he is elderly and in a wheelchair he still manages his farmstead in Idaho
This is where I shot this photo

 I read a story in Country Magazine that very much touched my heartstrings. It told of a humble Alabama backwards farmer who could not even write his name. This man, Clyde Brinkley, could only sign with an “X” on the dotted line. He would at times venture to write his name, bent over the kitchen table, rubbing his eyes…finally saying to his wife, “Mama, I just can’t do it.”

Clyde and his wife, due to circumstances, took in their grandson Dave and sought to raise him well.

Dave, upon recollection, related that his grandfather may have been uneducated by society’s standards, but was brilliant at raising an abandoned boy who needed a man to love him.

Clyde did not own a television, stating, “Don’t believe God likes ‘em and neither do I.” Instead, he would lie on the couch everyday after lunch, and turn on the radio and listen to the news and old-time preachers.

What was most astonishing about this illiterate grandpa was he could quote almost the entire Bible, verse by verse. Nothing kept him from learning about His first love—Jesus Christ. He was never neglectful toward the Savior.

Dave began to feel ashamed of his grandpa at age 14, observing as an open-eyed teenager that his grandpa was impoverished and ignorant—not worldly wise and wealthy.

As his grandpa would labor to put an “X” on a document, he would “hang back and pretend as if he did not know who he was.” (To be honest, we have to admit this certainly represents our selfish nature with its sinful man-pleasing inclinations that dwell in each of us. At age of 14, we are even more prone to be ashamed of the socially unacceptable…always concerned about what sinful mankind thinks. I know, I have that nature. I know because I was persecuted for being poor, far below average and ugly. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we excel in unconditional love for the lowly.)

Dave, now a proud teenager, would get upset when he “was given hand-me-down pants or shoes at the beginning of the school year.” My goodness and why not, when “everyone else had shiny, new things.”

At age 17, Dave entered the Marine Corps. He only took the time to write one letter to the godly man who raised him. It basically informed his caring grandpa that no bullet had snuffed out his life in Vietnam.

When Dave was 19, a sergeant yelled, “Get up to the Chaplain’s office. Your grandpa kicked the bucked, and they want to break it to you easy.”

Dave felt stunned, while the ground wobbled under him, feeling as if he had taken a heavyweight punch in the belly. He had lost his anchor to cancer.

There was no saying, “I’m sorry for not writing” and “sorry for being ashamed of you.”

Educated Dave came to recognize in the wisdom of his years that he was no more educated or intelligent than his grandpa who owned little quality of life by “most standards.” Dave stated, I can sign my name, but it doesn’t carry any more weight than my Paw Paw’s “X.”

(Later, Dave learned that dyslexia ran in the family)

Val Lee (1 John 5:10-13—the Bible)

July 21, 2009 Posted by | "X" Farmer, Farmer Story, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment