I don’t know how old I was when I found out that there was a reason ‘WHY’ we always eat black-eyed peas, collard greens and hog jowl on New Year’s Day. It was just one of those things we always did ’cause “we always did it that way.” I was amused when I learned that there was actually a reason behind these old Southern traditions.
Collard (or turnip) Greens symbolized money. The quiet kind of money. Green bills that silently fold into your wallet. Black-eyed peas symbolize the noisy money that jingles in your pocket. And the hog jowl because the fat pig symbolized wealth and prosperity. And we Southerners choose the jowl because he’s always pushing FORWARD, rooting in the ground before moving on.
And that’s why it’s “good luck” to eat our traditional meal at the very beginning of the year. It will bring you the American epitome of good luck = material wealth.
For some reason I thought about that old song “every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven” when we got our ‘voucher’ last week. That’s the notification of who gave toward our financial support thru our mission headquarters. It is always accompanied by the check for the accumulated funds for the month. And we missionaries recognize that it comes ‘from heaven’. It is our Lord’s supply of our financial needs. He chooses to send it thru our home church and others who pray for us as well; Sunday School classes; a Pastor’s widow in Washington; a family in Oregon; a young couple in South Carolina preparing to go to a foreign field themselves; veteran missionaries with another mission agency. All these and more who faithfully give as investments in the ministry our Lord has given us.
Support for “faith missionaries”, that is, those of us who do not have a salary nor benefits paid by the mission agency, may not fall from the sky like rain. But we KNOW that it does come from our Lord’s storehouse. He sends it thru individuals He knows He can trust to pass it on to His servants.
Thank the Lord we do not have to depend on eating a good-luck meal or having coins fall like rain. We have a loving Heavenly Father Who is far more dependable, much more resourceful and (I think with a twinkle in His eye) more creative and imaginative in the way He provides.