On Saturday, my wife said that she had read on the Cove’s forum that blueberries were ready to pick down at the community garden and asked if I could pick some for her. Wanting to be a good husband and knowing from years of training that the two best words a man can utter are, “Yes, dear,” I replied that Sunday would be a better day to do her bidding.
So, yesterday, when time availed itself, my preparation for the good deed began. Looking for a container with which to retrieve the berries started out with the idea of an old plastic milk jug cut in half, knowing that there probably wouldn’t be many berries remaining. After all, the message had been sent to several hundred people. However, from not finding a suitable cutting tool to having no other small container available, it felt like I was being led to take something larger. Soon, after listening to that still small voice speak, a left-over dry-wall mud bucket was chosen. “Too large, but at least it would be easy to tote since it had a nice handle,” I said to myself.
After washing my new oversized carrying container under the outside hydrant, my journey began. Through the shade of the deep woods, over the trail that wound beside a gentle flowing stream, the pathway led. There was a cool breeze – quite a pleasant surprise, considering we are in the midst of the summer months. The birds were singing melodies quite pleasing to the ear, providing a serenade of peace that made the weary soul rejoice. Before I knew it, the forest gave way to the open field surrounded by the black wooden fencing where the gardens lay.
My suspicions from the initial thoughts of the number of blueberries available to be picked were soon confirmed – pickins’ were far and few between. Yet, knowing that even a couple handfuls would make my beloved happy, I began taking what few drops of heavenly sweetness would afford. After gleaning as many as possible, my large bucket seemed still wholly empty. The breeze wafted, causing the apple trees nearby to catch my eye. There, splendidly arrayed, were several trees with ripe apples of different varieties. “Well, since there’s plenty of room, why not,” the thought came. So, ambling in their direction, my hands eagerly picked some of the delectable choice morsels. “These would be wonderful treats and add a nice touch to my daily smoothies,” the thoughts cascaded into my head.
While I had been picking the bounty of fare, several different groups had arrived, either tending to their own gardens or just stopping by to view the plots therein. As I made my way to the gate to leave, one of those couples hailed me, “Hey, would you like some cucumbers or zucchini? We have plenty.”
“Sure, I would love some,” came my reply. “I work full-time, so I just don’t have time to plant a garden.”
“Well, we’d be happy to share. They’re just on the other side of the fence.”
“Ok, I was just headed that way.”
We met at the exit gate and exchanged greetings, shaking hands, the husband and wife. They looked to be around my age and very fit. Evidently, life had treated them well. We shared where we lived, each not knowing exactly where that was, seeing as the size and scope of the neighborhood.
We talked briefly about gardening as they pointed to the vegetables arrayed on the ground. I shared with them how much we missed growing a garden since leaving the farm back in Chatham County. They handed me one item after another until my bucket was nearly overflowing. It was then I realized what had happened. The Lord had shown again his ability to provide even when there was no thought nor request for sustenance. “Give us this day our daily bread” came to mind as they eagerly shared their hard work and graciousness. Before leaving, I thanked them repeatedly, ending with, “The Lord told me to bring a bigger bucket today. Now I know why.”
They smiled in return, and we said our goodbyes.
As I walked home along the trail of tranquility, the peace of Christ that passes all understanding blanketed my heart with sweet joys. The burning in my arms from carrying the great reward was a blessing, not only because of what was shared but knowing that God had again provided over and above all that was expected.
I was not worthy, yet he sent his Son to take the wrath for my sins on the cross so that a sinner like myself could have eternal life.
Yes, a prayer was answered even when it wasn’t mentioned.
Thanks be to God.