When I am writing to internet friends or leaving comments on other blogs, I often sign off with "Peace, Prayers and Love" - I wish you peace, I will keep you in my prayers, and I send you love.
As sharecropper, my responsibilities are to care for those and that leased to me by the owner, to increase the wealth of my trust, and to return a portion of that wealth to the owner. I never capitalize sharecropper, for I am not unique, only one of the host of the world, who are also sharecroppers even though they may not know it. Coming from the farming world of the deep South, sharecroppers were not respected even though they served well. They gave much more than they got; some, however, were able to buy land and become landowners instead of sharecroppers (and I'm not sure how that plays into my metaphor). We did own our little bit of land, and I sold it to go to seminary - such a little bit that about all it did was to get me there.
First and foremost to me are the people in my life - my partner, my friends (those present, past and cyber), my co-workers, acquaintances, and so on throughout the world. What I do best is to love people. My love is not boundless nor is my energy to love. I am human (and sometimes I have to remind myself that I am). I get angry, I harbor angers from the past that spit out at inappropriate times. (12 steppers will recognize this as resentments.) Ridding myself of these angers and the fears that go along with them is a lifelong process. The steps don't do it for me, and God's time in removing them (with my help and the help of other sharecroppers) is not my time.
But, what I farm is the growth of Peace, Prayers and Love. Some years the crops are bountiful; some years not. The more I can multiply this wealth I've been given in trust, the more I am blessed with the same things. Some days I have peace in the kind we all consider - the quiet contentment of being that includes safety, fulfillment of my basic (and not so basic) needs, and love. Some days, I give love in abundance, and some days I turn the cell phone off, stay away from the computer and knit.
As a sharecropper, my leased land is not the earth, is not the wealth of things (although I seem to hoard lots of things), but my leased land is people. My energy goes into loving people. I'm a pretty good sharecropper; I've known about my leased land for most of my life. I've picked up bad habits and good practices along the way. My return to the owner has been good; I consider myself a successful sharecropper. Nonetheless, I am sharecropper. I do not own. I am a servant who is truly blessed with the return from my leased land.