Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Story of the Day

There are some days that just make for a good story. Today was one of them. It was a cloudy overcast day and very chilly. I made a list of "To Do's" most of them were indoor activities like vacuuming, cleaning specific rooms, etc. But one thing on our list was to take fresh vegetables from the garden to our local food bank sponsored by our church. This would be our first trip of the season since planting occurred so late.
This is our 3rd year planting the garden for our own consumption and for the food bank. The kids and I love meeting those who are in tough times and benefit from this little food bank. The gals who work there are a true gift. They give of their time organizing this little endeavor and feed about 200 people a week.
Today we greeted the gals and brought raspberries, a variety of lettuces, arugula, an assortment of dark red, pink and white beets and Thumbelina carrots. We spent a little time talking with them and then were about to go on our way.
As we exited the food bank there is a line up of people waiting for it to open. First in line were two older women. One was missing her front teeth and the next lady had an accent. They said "Thank you" and we started walking to the car.
Immediately, I noticed someone trying to get my attention. I turned around and the little lady with the accent said, "My husband has been waiting for you." I looked out into the parking lot in the opposite direction. Walking toward us was an older, slightly feeble, looking man. Although he looked quite a bit thinner I recognized him instantly. She said, "Do you remember my husband, Joseph?" I looked at him and said, "You are the one who likes the GIANT zucchini I bring." (You know those zucchini that overnight grow to about 2 1/2 feet that most people don't want).
Joseph loves them. He is a Hungarian man who makes a favorite Hungarian soup with the big zucchini. In the past two years when he sees me arrive, his face lights up. The gals at the food bank always set aside the huge cabbage and zuc for him.
Joseph approached and greeted us. His wife said he waits in the car because he's not feeling well. Joseph then shared that he has lung cancer and is going through chemotherapy. We talked a bit about what's growing in the garden and what I brought today. At the close of our short conversation I tried to be encouraging and let him know we'd be praying for him.
As I got in the car, the kids said they remembered him from last year. I let them know he has lung cancer.
Driving home I starting thinking about the little things in life that we each can do. It really doesn't take much more effort to plant the seed packet instead of a couple of seeds. The cost is the same. The time weeding is about the same, but the blessings spread from this little effort are great. We are blessed to see Joseph and his wife and their smiling faces. We are blessed by seeing the gals work so hard giving their time at the food bank. And we are blessed to see the others wave at us while we drive away. It's good to know they're getting some fresh, healthy vegetables. It's all worth it and then some.
And when we least expect it, God shows us we now have a new person to add to our prayer board and lift up...Joseph.

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