Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Briar Patch Living

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.  
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Isaiah 55:12-13

Oh how I loved Brer Rabbit ...

As a child, I could sit by the hour & read the many mis-adventures of this wiley character.  My favorite story was "Brer Rabbit & the Tar Baby".  In it, Brer Fox siezes what appears to be a prime occasion for ridding himself of the bossy bunny.  As he narrows in on his nemesis, listen to the exchange between henchman & would-be henced:

"I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"

Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch." 

Even though I knew how the story progressed & eventually ended, I'd sit with baited breath as I shivered over the thought of Brer Rabbit being pitched to his death.  Sometimes that fuzzy bunny seemed deserving of his come-upins, but the briar patch?  Yikes! 

The briar patch is no place for sissies, or even wayward leporids. 

As if the text read:  In the course of time ... or, It came to pass ... we read on to hear these two - post briar patch plunge: 

Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.

"I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."

And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home. 

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel that way; as if I've come upon some foe or fret that carries with it ill-intent.  BUT, having been raised amidst the briars, I find myself at home in the worst of conditions.  

We do, indeed, go out with joy AND are lead in peace - no matter the conditions on the ground. 

For a few of Brer Rabbit's better known sagas, you can read them here:   American Folklore 


Rebecca said...

Yea and Amen!

Thoughts for the day said...

Great thoughts, loved the stories too.

Jackie said...

Luv this Kathleen!


Denise said...

Amen sweet friend.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Would you believe I never read this story? It reminds me how God takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it around for our good.

myletterstoemily said...

you win my favorite comment at my
blog . . . a new pair of shoes!!!!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

The only way I am somewhat content in the daily life of briars, is to keep my eyes and perspective looking upwards. I admire how you apply truth to old stories. It does seem like we are often in the briar patch of life.

Karen Lange said...

We are! I appreciate this reminder today. Blessings and hugs to you! :)

RCUBEs said...

That's how I had been feeling since going through a battle at my workplace against powerful people. But their intentions became my advantage...Because of the good Lord! So this morning, prior to visiting you, I was listening to Don Moen's CD and started singing out loud (Thank God I was alone at the house! :)

Sing for JOY, to God our strength...Our STRENGTH!!!

Cheryl Barker said...

So thankful for the joy we have in the Lord even in the midst of turmoil. And Kathleen, thanks for a blast of nostalgia. Haven't thought of Brer Rabbit since the days my grandpa read the stories to us. And he could make a story come alive! :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Okay I am confessing...I have a post going out tomorrow on Brer Rabbit...so as soon as I started to read I stopped...I will be back after I post, because I don't want to see if we are repeating anything.
The beginning scriptures are some of my favorite...I will be back after I post my thoughts on Brer Rabbit

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Now I am back to finish up your post...it spoke to my heart deeply...where I was only hitting the top of it all on my post you went to the heart of it. Great post..and of course it is such a joy to read a good writer...may I learn from you in many ways

Angela said...

Love this post! There are a lot of advantages to being "born and bred in the briar patch." We know the briar patch won't kill us and one day God will get us out:)