An Amazing Mixture of Mud, Persperation and Calf Manure

by | Jun 1, 1999 | Commitment, Endurance

My father-in-law, James Merchant, is a watchman for his family. I’ve now assumed the primary role of watching over his daughter, Ceci, but for years he did an admirable job. Actually, her real name is Celia-that’s what he calls her (pronounced by him and others in Mississippi “Say-ya”).

I’ll never forget my first meeting with him. Ceci and I met in Bible school, and I had already decided I wanted to marry her before her mom and dad met me. Mr. James Watchman-for-Say ya-Merchant decided on his own unique way of checking my work ethic and submission to elders on my first visit to their farm.

After a wonderful Mississippi breakfast of bacon, eggs and the absolutely best biscuits in the world made by my mother-in­law, Melba, James said to me, “I need some help with the cows today.”

“Sure,” I said, looking for ways to prove I was worthy of his daughter.

We then proceeded to vaccinate and tag 40 calves. My job was to catch them, push them down the chute and hold them, while James did the smart work of tagging and vaccinating. Scared baby calves do the same thing scared puppies do-mess all over themselves. Correction, they mess all over themselves and whomever happens to be scaring, catching, pushing and holding them from behind.

By the time we finished, I was an amazing mixture of mud, perspiration, calf manure and urine-pretty much from head to toe. Mr. James Watchman-for-Say-ya-Merchant was as clean as a whistle and smiling from ear to ear.

On our return from the barn, Say-ya met us outside with a big smile of her own. Being as absolutely crazy about me as she was, her whole world revolved around my passing this test. Seeing her daddy’s smile, she knew all was well. Still grinning herself, she began-from a distance, due to my odorous condition-hosing me off. Strangely, for the next two weeks people seemed to avoid me like the plague. I was a little rank for awhile-even the dogs didn’t come near me-but I was a happy man.

Pity the poor guys who come asking Mr. Dutch Watchman­for-Sarah-and-Hannah-Sheets for my daughters’ hands in marriage one day. I’ve had 22 years so far to reflect and to improve on this testing process.

Watchman Prayer by Dutch Sheets, p. 131-132. Copyright 2000 Gospel Light/Regal Books, Ventura, CA 93003 Used by Permission


An Amazing Mixture of Mud, Persperation and Calf Manure