When Wes and I married, we were full time seminary students and part time janitors.
We were in good company as far as that went as many, many other students had jobs like ours. But we were better off than a whole lot of those we worked with, as many of them were supporting growing families on the very small salary we all earned as janitors. Many of them had wives who were expecting babies, and with doctor’s bills and all the expenses of newborns, money was tight.
And God? God was very sweet and very, very kind.
We were having a meeting one day during our shift, talking about some changes they were making as to what chemicals we were going to be using on the toilets (fascinating stuff, honestly), and one of the men I worked with asked if he could share something with us. He was an international student who, because of visa issues, was the sole provider of his family and who, because of language and cultural issues, was very quiet normally. We were all tired of talking toilets and were so surprised to hear him say anything that we welcomed the tangential story with great expectation.
He told us about how his wife was very far along in her pregnancy and how she’d been craving apples. All day long, all she’d been able to talk about were apples and how good she knew one would taste. He’d told her that the grocery budget was spent for the week, that apples were something they couldn’t afford just then with all the expenses they had coming up, and that he was so sorry he couldn’t get her any.
Apples. Something so simple. Something she didn’t need. Something that would have just been a treat. Something that would have blessed her that far along in her pregnancy.
He went on to tell us about how he’d gone on to class that morning after having this conversation with her. She was going to take a long nap as there wasn’t much else she felt like doing at thirtysomething weeks of pregnancy. (Been there, done that.) He had plans to go back to the student apartment they lived in for lunch like he always did because it was another way to save money.
He’d been praying about that craving of hers, wondering how he could get her an apple, when he finally made his way to their front door.
And there, hanging from the doorknob, was a bag of apples.
He’d been the only one she told about the craving, and he, being the quiet student that he was, hadn’t mentioned it to anyone. Someone had left them there, simply because they’d been prompted by the Lord to do so, all because God saw that precious young wife and her hardworking husband and wanted to bless them.
“How wonderful of God,” he said, with tears in his eyes, “to do that for us. My wife said she’s going to eat every last one.”
I’m reminded so often these days of the sweetness of God and how He blesses us when we least expect it and in the simple ways that only He can…