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Spring Pastimes in the Midwest by Rev. Frank Liu (July 2020 Banner, Online edition)
Posted on Jul 2, 2020
This spring, after seven years of being in the Midwest, and after being stuck at home for three months, I finally decided it was time that I attempt the popular Midwest and eastern spring pastime of morel mushroom hunting. I had heard that it was the adult equivalent of Easter egg hunting; that nature (i.e., our God) provided a gift to enjoy each spring. Some seasons they are very plentiful, and other seasons a rarity. How would we even know where to begin looking? Asking someone for his secret morel picking spot is as taboo (or worse) as asking for a secret huckleberry spot. So this spring, I asked one of my two Minnesotan friends whom I know picks morels, “I would like to try picking morels; where do you suggest that I starting looking?” I was pleasantly surprised when he said, “let me arrange a time for you to go with us.” This friend was the cop friend whom I provided pre-marital counseling to last year. I don’t know if he took me to his secret spot, but he did welcome me and my family on a mushroom hunt with his circle of friends. He also asked me to say a prayer for the group after our time together. I found out later from my son that several of the morels that he had in his bag were actually picked by my friend’s wife, but she gave those to him to keep. They extended kindness to us in that they wanted to make sure that we were able to return home with plenty for our first hunt. We realize that it is the Lord who opens doors to relationships and to men’s hearts. While the diligent man will roast his game (or sauté his morels), the faithful man will see the fruits of his labors. We’re thankful for the Lord’s work in growing friendships, allowing us to meet new friends and granting us opportunities to bless others, as it is not just about mushrooms!
In these past few months, Cornerstone has weathered the storm well. While our plans have changed (who would’ve predicted or planned this?), God’s plans are certain. Our prayer is that during a time of impatience, frustration, anger and outrage, we as Christians would not be adding more vitriol to the mix, but rather have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).