Grace nestled the freshly baked rolls in the basket enjoying their fragrant yeast scent. She added a small jar of her homemade apple butter. Covering the goodies with the lace-edged gingham cloth, she put it aside as she reached for the notecard.
In a beautifully handwritten script, she wrote, “I know your heart is hurting with the loss of your loved one, but please know that many surround you with love and prayer. Here’s a small token of that for you. I prayed for you during the making of the rolls, and as I put the basket together. May you experience God’s comfort and peace as you enjoy these rolls of prayer. Love, Grace”
After delivering the basket, Grace drove to the Shop Mart in her “classic” 1992 Camry. The car ran well most of the time, plus she couldn’t afford a new car, especially since taxes were overdue, and she needed to give all her extra money to pay them off. Her dear husband, Harold, passed on last year, and it’s been a struggle making ends meet. But Grace knew she didn’t walk alone.
At the store, she picked up extra roast beef planning to make pot roast for the new neighbors to welcome them. She is a single mother with two adorable tots that Grace was sure kept her busy. Perhaps I could care for the children sometime and give her a nice break.
Grace’s children were now grown and living their own lives. They called her sporadically, but she understood their busyness with family and careers.
“Hey, Lady, move your cart!” said a young man in a T-shirt and jeans.
Moving it to the side, she said, “I’m sorry.”
The man moved past her and grumbled, “Whatever.”
Walking to her car, she noticed that one of her tires was flat. Many people walked by with no offer to help, in fact, it seemed that they would walk to the other side of the lane in hopes she wouldn’t talk to them. Although it was a steamy day, Grace decided to walk the two blocks to the service station…it would be good exercise anyway.
At the service station, she found out it would cost $75 for a new tire and replacement. She would have to charge it for she didn’t have the money available.
Upon returning to her car, she saw that the heat spoiled many of the groceries. After putting away the groceries that survived, Grace sat wearily in her rocker on the porch. The tears began to stream down her face. “Lord, I know there is purpose in the struggles I experience, but sometimes I just want to quit. I miss Harold so much.” Grace fell asleep among her tears.
When she awoke, there was a basket on her porch steps. Inside were the most beautiful apples and a note. Picking up the basket, she sat back down on the rocker and opened the envelope with her name on it. She didn’t recognize the handwriting.
In the note was written, “Dear Grace, I’m sorry this is a long time coming, but you and your husband were kind enough to loan me some money a couple of years ago. The Lord has blessed me with a growing business, and has brought to mind the loan. Enclosed you will find a check for $10,000.
Thank you for having faith in me when I needed it most. You told me once that I was the apple of God’s eye, and that encouraged me many days. Here are some apples to enjoy and remember how precious you are to Him, too. Love, Reggie”
She took out one of the apples and breathed in its fresh scent. Thank you, Lord, for the refreshment of my spirit. I can go on.
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