Things You Can’t Understand If You Didn’t Grow Up in a Small Town

One of the most beautiful things about God is that he doesn’t avoid doing things just because there’s an easier way. He could turn the sun on like a light bulb every morning with the flip of a switch, but instead, simply because he takes joy in our joy, he has pulled out his brushes every morning since the beginning of time and streaked the sky with a new masterpiece — one that only lasts a few moments. .
Can we strive to be that selfless in our love, putting forth time and effort, even if very little appreciation is shown in return? Can we aim to do seemingly small or mundane things with great love?

If you didn’t grow up in a small town, I can’t make you understand–

The familiarity of these muddy roads and brick-paved streets–
the genuine kindness in a stranger’s two-fingered-wave.
Traffic jams are only caused by farm equipment and livestock,
and news travels faster than a truck on the highway leaving town.

I can’t make you understand.

The sense of community or rapport of school spirit–
the fact that I can name every individual with whom I graduated.
That Fridays are for football and Sundays are for church–
and people you don’t even know believe in you.

I can’t make you understand.

That “rush hour” is students clogging the sidewalks after school,
and “5 o’clock traffic” means there are no cars left on main street.
That the lettered street names only run from “A” through “F,” and I don’t need a GPS to get anywhere–
In fact, I can walk across the entire city in less than twenty minutes.




I can’t make you understand.

Driver’s licenses are obtained at age fourteen,
and it’s perfectly normal to have collided with more than one deer by age sixteen.
Locking doors is a foreign concept,
and taking the keys when you exit a vehicle is an inconvenience.

I can’t make you understand.

That the quarterback could also be the starring role in the musical–
and if you’re involved in any school activity, you’re guaranteed to make the paper at least once.
That country songs are playing the story of your life–
of hard work, and back roads, community, and the American dream.

I can’t make you understand.

Why I feel desperate to escape the concrete jungle closing in on me–
and the gravel roads make me feel just as much at home as my own family.
That gazing up at billions of stars will make you feel so insignificant…
but it will also remind you that our God cares about the details too.

I can’t make you understand.

That the sun explodes when it touches the wide open horizon at night,
and you can’t help but stare as the melting colors silhouette the water tower.
The grain elevator is the tallest building in town–
and the last shadow you’ll see as darkness fades in on the sleepy little town.

We don’t have a Starbucks or a snapchat filter with our name on it.
In fact, we’re lucky to even be a speck on the map.
And, though I can’t make you understand,
we’re even luckier to have something else:

Small town sunsets.


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