God’s Scientist

by: Dustin Joy

“When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well George, that’s more nearly your size.’ And he told me.”

-George Washington Carver

I said it and I believe it.

All I have accomplished,

all I have been privileged to understand,

has been through His indulgence.

“Without God to draw aside the curtain, 

I would be helpless.”

With God’s help I became a prophet, 

a modest one. 

Tuskegee is not Mt. Sinai, after all, and

blackboards are not stone tablets.

But I told them what He told me. 

I told them about soil depletion,

and the virtue of crop rotation, 

and about the remarkable versatility 

of the peanut and the sweet potato 

and the soybean, 

as was vouchsafed to me 

by the almighty.

I told them, and they were nonplussed.

And lo, they sayeth, “cotton is king!”

But Jesus sayeth, in consolation,

“A prophet is not without honor, 

save in his own country and in his own house.”

Still, I reckon I fared better 

than John the Baptist.

I didn’t lose my head,

the stakes being less in peanuts.

Then came the weevil, 

sent by God, I suppose.

And then they believed,

and they rotated,

and they diversified,

and they were saved 

by peanuts.

Down in Enterprise they were moved

by their deliverance and the timeliness 

of the prophet’s prophesy,

my prophesy.

And they built a statue,

a statue to honor…

the weevil!

God’s ways are truly inscrutable.