Whipped cream and sprinkles

“… What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Matt. 7:9-11

Since I was laid off from my cushy editing gig at the Tulsa World, we’ve had to tighten our belts a little bit here at the House of the Lifted Lorax. We live within our means, so the loss of my income didn’t result in a financial crisis, but we’ve definitely cut back on some of our luxuries lately, and with gas prices climbing higher and higher, I was beginning to wonder whether driving to Illinois to visit my family over Memorial Day weekend really represented the wisest use of my financial resources.

I was thinking about that last week when we went out to check on our beehive at The Living Kitchen Farm and Garden.

The girls at Living Kitchen happen to raise dairy goats, and before we left that morning, they gave us a half-gallon of fresh, organic goat milk. On the way home, Ron commented that Lisa and Bibi’s timing was good, as he had just used up the last of our milk that morning.

That wasn’t good timing, I thought. That was divine Love meeting every human need.

It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford to buy milk. We could. But that gift from our friends at the farm represented something much more important than the price of a half-gallon of milk. It was a clear demonstration that “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him,” as Jesus put it, and it was a nice reminder that He’s on the case, meeting even my smallest needs in a beautiful, harmonious, and sometimes even extravagant way.

I got the message. And I quit worrying about how to pay for my trip.

Half an hour later, I found myself on the phone with a bus tour coordinator from North Carolina, making arrangements to travel to Paducah, Ky. — about an hour from my parents’ house in southern Illinois — to meet up with his group and ride with them from Paducah to Oklahoma City, serving as a sort of hostess for the tour while providing narrative about Route 66 all the way from St. Louis to OKC. The arrangement would not only give me a nice paycheck and a way to visit my family on somebody else’s dime, but it would allow the travelers to have a Mother Road enthusiast on the bus for the entire Route 66 portion of the tour.

I think what really knocks me out about all this is the Father’s sense of style: Why mail a guy a Braum’s coupon when you can hand him a half-gallon Mason jar of raw, organic milk that just came from the goat yesterday? And why hand a girl gas money when you can give her a two-week, all-expenses-paid vacation — including a week on her favorite road — and a nice paycheck besides?

Those aren’t just blessings. They’re blessings with whipped cream and sprinkles on top.

May we all have a whipped-cream-and-sprinkles sort of week.

Emily