The doorbell rang. Before we could get to the door, there was a clatter, the sound of running feet, and a car door slamming. Descending our flight of stairs and opening the front door, we could only perceive blurry details of some people and a car disappearing out of sight. On the wooden porch step lay a pie.
|Microsoft clip art for all photos in this post.|
It had been a hard Sunday to be at church earlier that day. Sunshine poured down that spring day six or seven years ago, but ministry life felt discouraging that week. Our efforts seemed to be fruitless, and our time accomplishing nothing. Youth pastor husband and I had sang and smiled sincerely, but then hurried home. A Sunday afternoon nap, some desultory conversation, and time in God’s word was needed to cure this discouragement.
That afternoon, suburban teen ninjas slipped a peach pie onto our front steps. It came just when we were talking to God, and he was answering back, “Do not grow weary of doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you will not give up.” Knowing we needed tangible encouragement that day, though, he sent a peach pie through mysterious ninja humans.
We now refer back to that time as God giving us a peach pie, and it is but one example to us of God’s loving gifts and faithfulness. He speaks his love to us in daily gifts-- life, breath, family, His presence, and joy – and every once in a while when we silently need encouragement, he sends a "peach pie."
This story sprang to my mind this week as I was finishing up the book of Jeremiah. God plays such a huge, powerful role in this book, but it was a quiet tender scene that grabbed my attention actually. The prophet Jeremiah had been the bearer of bad news too often and ticked off the authorities. Thrown into a cistern, he was sitting in mud and abandoned in the elements to die. Securing his release, a godly Egyptian man by the name of Ebed-Melech took extra care in pulling the old prophet out of the well by affixing padded cloths to the arm harness of the ropes (Jer. 28).
I love that God sees this and remembers it. In the next chapter we hear God actually speaking out a message for Ebed personally and by name. Tell Ebed that (I saw him and that) I will rescue him from the coming danger in this besieged city at war.
Our God is watching. He saw a kind Egyptian gentleman pad ropes to lift out an old man of God from a well in the middle of a besieged, war-torn city. It is easy to think of God as being more occupied with the front lines of world conflicts and national leaders, but it blows me away to hear him recording instances of individuals being tender and considerate, simply affixing torn rags to a rope harness for an old man in a well.
God saw that and addressed Ebed by name. That same God saw suburban ninja teens slip a peach pie onto our steps one summer day years ago, and he knows them by name. That God is watching now, and sees our actions today. In God’s wonderful radical economy, she who refreshes others will be refreshed, and our loving acts towards others are quiet worship to Him.
Want some joy today? Whisperingly confer with God, and be a suburban ninja with a peach pie, or old rags on a rope harness.
What about you? What random acts of kindness have you seen done, or have you been excited to be part of? What do you like to do with your kids?