Young girl planting corn by hand.

Corny Sins

Numbers 32:23: “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

The Sunday school verse, and be sure your sins will find you out, doesn’t mean much to a little girl, unless she learns by experience, the meaning.

“Be sure your sin will find you out. Be sure your sin will find you out.” I chanted the Sunday school verse all the way home. It was my memory verse for next week's Sunday school class. I was always the first one to stand up and say my verse when the teacher asked. But I didn't always know what the verses meant. And I really puzzled over this verse. How can sin find you out? Maybe I would ask Mama to explain it. She wouldn't laugh at me. If I asked my older sisters they might laugh. But the week went by, and I forgot all about asking anyone what the verse meant.

"No school today, and a whole day to play," I thought the following Saturday. It was May, and the weather was beautiful.

But Dad had other ideas for this beautiful May Saturday. "Today I want you kids to help me plant the garden," he announced at breakfast.

My heart sank. Dad’s idea of "gardening" was a field of potatoes and a field of corn. The potato planting was kind-of fun. With a hoe Dad would chop rows and rows of holes in straight lines, and we kids would follow behind him, dropping three cut potatoes into each hole. But corn planting was another matter. When you are seven you’d much sooner be running wild, exploring empty fields, or climbing trees with your brother, than you would be dropping tiny corn kernels into the ground.

Dad handed me a can containing hundreds of kernels of soaked corn. With my little brother helping, it was my job to make sure each kernel was dropped into the furrows Dad had already prepared. Drop kernel, cover. Drop kernel, cover. It went on like this for what seemed like an eternity. Would those kernels ever be gone? The day was bright; the field with the waving buttercups and croaking frogs, just beyond the garden patch was beckoning. Wouldn’t it be so much better to be off exploring than dropping stupid kernel into the ground?

I looked at the can, still with about a quarter of the corn in the bottom. I looked at the prepared cornfield yet to be planted. I looked out beyond the gate at the wild field, begging to be run in. Suddenly I knew what I would do. Dad would never know. I grabbed my little brother’s hand and led him behind the garden shed. I dug a hole. I instructed brother to empty the contents of the tin into the hole. Looking around to make sure no one saw me, I covered the hole up with dirt and weeds and threw away the can. “Now, let’s go play,” I said, taking five-year-old Alfie’s hand. Off together we ran into the inviting field.

I forgot all about the corn behind the shed. Weeks went by. The potato field, once just mounds of dirt, now had little individual tufts of green coming up in rows. The cornfield looked like one big field of waving grass. Dad didn’t notice that it wasn’t all corn; because grass had sprouted naturally, filling in the corn-less part.

One day Dad had occasion to go out behind the garden shed. There, staring him in the face was a struggling mass of green shoots, about a foot high.

“Come here, Helen” he said, “I want to show you something.” I ran cheerfully up to him. He pointed at the incriminating evidence of my sin; then, without a further word, he went back to the house. I stood staring at the patch of choking corn plants. Now I knew that sin COULD find you out.

To this day, every time I see a field of corn--and I live in corn country--I am reminded of the little girl who once was seven, and learned by experience the meaning of Numbers 32:23: “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

A true incident.

~ Helen Marjorie Dowd ~
Copyright © 2013
All Right Reserved

[ by: Helen Marjorie Dowd, Copyright © 2013, ( ) -- submitted by: Helen Dowd ]

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