Friday, February 15, 2008

That Basket, Jambalaya, And Hope

Winter 2008 032 There's a crack in the bottom these days, so fear compels me to write quickly. In a blink the crack will grow into the irreparable breech that will sentence it to the rubbish for good. If I do not tell you this now, my Kathy-Girl, my chance will be gone as the basket will no longer be here to remind me. Experience tells me that my motivation to share this with you again will fade without this constant visual aid. I hurry before it is gone.

For ten full years, its service has lightened my loads and its memories have lightened my countenance. The day I first laid eyes upon it is forever etched in my memory. It had been a hard winter. I had given birth to my third child in the Fall, the third in twenty-seven months... without insurance. We made thirteen thousand dollars that year. To say that we were struggling to put food on the table would understate the situation. Lots of folks commented about how thin I was, not knowing that it was because we were hungry.

Feverish with mastitis, it was all I could do to take care of my two toddlers and the baby with an ear infection. It had been weeks since we had any money for groceries, and years since we could afford meat. There was no food in the house, no car available, and we were all too sick to go out anyway. I was desperate for help, for someone to care, or even just someone to know. No one did. We were new enough at the church that no one knew what our life was like, how lonely we were, or how poor. All we knew is that it felt like no one cared. I remember my first time ever trying what Mr. Visionary calls "pulling a Hudson Taylor". There was no one to tell anyway, so I simply prayed, begging Father to show me that He cared, that He could really hear me.

I opened the door to find you, loaded basket in hand, smiling and saying that you happened to be in the area, but I knew full well that folks from your side of town didn't visit our drug-infested neighborhood without a good reason. As you unloaded Cheerios and milk, lasagna and jambalaya, fruit and cheese... manna... I was beginning to realize that you didn't just come, you were sent. "You can keep the basket if you want. My laundry room is upstairs now, and I don't need it!" Every. Little. Detail. I could not believe He told you about that, too. I had been toting diapers to the line in soggy cardboard boxes for months. A new laundry basket was low on the priority list, but still desired.

How I held it together long enough for your quick visit, I will never understand. After you left, and the reality and the Cheerios settled, I experienced a hope that I had not in many years. Life was hard, but my Father was good. I knew it for sure now. He heard me. I know He did because I told no one else.

And I know you heard Him, too.

I have remembered that day innumerable times in the last ten years. Every time I was encouraged. Every time I longed for the day I could be the one with the basket. Every time I thanked my Father for you.

...And for the hope you delivered in an overflowing basket.


  1. This is beautiful. To have the ears to hear where He whispers for us to go . . . that is the blessed life. What an amazing gift you were sent that day - a gift that clearly has not stopped giving even now.

  2. And now you're going to pay it forward, bringing a basket of blessing to Israel!

  3. As a missionary of almost 12 years, your post brought me to tears (of course my preggo hormones didn't help). We have many times seen the Lord work in ways that when we still look back on it, it is only the Lord's doing. We have shared with some of the details, my family will DIE when I tell them of not having any food in the house and a friend (non Christian) showed up with a huge bag of steamed bread and buns, then the next day it was fruit.
    Our FATHER promised to take care of HIS sons and daughters.
    Anyway, your post just touched me.
    Deana--in Taiwan

  4. Your friend in Nashville wants to thank you for a wonderful memory. I love you guys and am praying for you!

  5. Thank you for being the one to bring a basket to us during a dark and lonely time...with such a sweet note..."know that Yahweh Loves You"...there are no words...
    Love you all!

  6. Your story is very touching. I have received baskets similar to you in our families' time of need. And I love and always look forward to being able to give baskets to others in their time of need. Thank you for sharing it so beautifully.

  7. Oh Julie,

    And to think, each one of us who has been thru similar times thinks that we are the only ones who have walked such a path.

    Thank you so much for sharing this portion of your story. Thank you, Kathy, for listening, and for hearing. I pray that *I* will be one who hears and obeys when HE speaks!

    Love to you - Julie, friend!

  8. Thank you for sharing that story. I really needed to read something like that today.

  9. I cryed ! The father says He will never leave us and He does't .We just don't always see what He is doing. Your writings are a true blessing to me.

  10. That WAS a refreshing reminder...thank you so much for sharing your personal story.
    We, too, have been humbled and encouraged by unexpected provisions just when they were needed the most.
    God is so good.

  11. [...] our Father has seen fit to send many, both family and friends with baskets of hope and provision. Strangers, who didn’t know anything was amiss, who left money when the cupboard was almost [...]


Before writing your comment, be sure to read the Fine Print!