The Lilies of the Field Author:Barrett, William Homer Smith was 24. He stood 6'2" and his skin was a deep, warm black. There was laughter in him. — After leaving the army he bought a secondhand station wagon, equipped it for sleeping and living, and set off to see the West. That was how he came to drive by the field where 4 German nuns were working. One was clearing an area of cultivated land,... more » three more were building a fence.
For some obscure reason Homer Smith topped to help-and that's where the drama began.
These nuns for whom Homer Smith builds a church are not just "sweet doves of the lord". In fact, Homer thinks their Superior is a slave driver who starves her workers. When she wants to drive to another town to buy bricks, Homer is led to believe the gas will be provided exactly as the lilies of the field have all their needs satisfied.
Homer didn't only help the nuns to build their church. He helped them learn English, bought them groceries to alleviate the burden of their one cow and one chicken, provided them with a bathtub, and played the guitar for them.
But just as the Mother Superior knew he would come in answer to prayer, perhaps she also knew he would one day disappear. With deep insight and flashes of humor Mr Barrett has depicted this ordinary-yet extraordinary-man of whom Mother Maria Marthe said: "He was not of our faith, nor of our skin, but he was a man of greatness, of an utter devotion."« less