Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Cherokee's Love

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Got any Indians in your closet? Family history says my great grandmother was a Cherokee. I haven’t found a way to prove it but the outward appearance says it’s probably true – black hair, chocolate brown eyes, dark skin, no sunburn. Since we only live about 2 hours from the NC reservation, my dad took us to see the outdoor drama of Unto These Hills when I was a kid. It was the first time any of us had ever seen it. It broke our hearts to see how one man gave his life for his people. Because of Tsali, the Cherokee hiding in the mountains of NC were allowed to stay. Those already  surrendered were taken on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Kermit Hunter did a great job in writing the drama so we don’t forget the sacrifices people have always made for the freedoms we enjoy.

Funny thing happened one year when I was planting a garden. A friend of mine gave me a handful of black beans. She said they came off the flea market in Sylva, NC. The seller called them Black Wax beans. I planted them, watched as they put on beautiful purple flowers and made long pods of pole beans. They tasted pretty good too! The next year I searched the bean catalogs and on line for Black Wax beans. I couldn’t find a thing. Then I saw a picture of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans. The description was exactly the same as my Black Wax. It also gave a little history. The Cherokee women hid the beans in their hair or in their pockets for food and seed when they walked the Trail of Tears. Could the seeds I was given be seeds left in the mountains with those for whom Tsali died?

Tsali died for the love of his people, to save them a place in their land. It got me to thinking, Jesus died because of his love for us, to save us a place in heaven. Tsali killed a soldier in defense of his wife. The soldiers made a deal to let the Cherokee stay if Tsali gave himself up. He knew he would be shot. Jesus committed no sin or offense against the Jews or the Roman army or anyone. He was without sin, yet He and God the Father decided before the world was made that He would give his life for us, so we could receive eternal life.

I still grow Cherokee Black Wax beans in my garden. It reminds me of why I get to live here instead of Oklahoma. It also reminds me that Jesus willingly gave His life so I get to live eternally with him. What reminders has Jesus given you of His eternal love for us? Won’t you share your experiences on our blogsite?

Photo: God's Reminder of His love through Cherokee black wax beans. Coming soon to th blogsite.
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