There was a knock at my back door and I opened it to a sweet couple from our church. They were laden with a large photo box and a huge, packed scrapbook. They smiled big and the wife extended her armload out to me and said they wanted to share a bit of Africa with my children. She knew it was an area of study for us and she lovingly granted her cherished work of art full of hundreds of trip photos so we could get a little closer to the reality of Africa. They also generously offered us to choose from their box of "extra photos" for our own projects. I nodded enthusiastically, thanked them and then they headed down to our nursery to support us in a second way. Unexpected love.
The girls had raced on ahead of Oliver and I as we blazed the trail in the spitting rain. Oliver was busy "killing bears" and seeking "new" birds along the way when I noticed a man quickly approaching from behind. As a woman in the woods with her children, I'm always praying for our protection. I peeked back again and the man was picking up speed but it seemed like he was simply taking a brisk walk on a beautiful spring day. He caught up to me and I turned and said hi. He did too and then we recognized each other. He was a Christian man in our community.
"Hi Peter," I voiced with a smile, and he tried to remember my name. I told him and he nodded that he remembered. Then he shared that as he was striding behind us, he was praying for the little boy ahead of him, that he would become a mighty man of God. I exclaimed "Thank you! That's what we pray over our son, as well!"
He turned to Oliver and said, "You already are a mighty man of God, right now." Oliver beamed.
She snipped the helium-filled balloons and told the kids this is what our decision to live for Jesus will mean... we get to spend eternity with Him! She cares so much about our kids--the whole homeschool group--that she came prepared with this object lesson for all of them before they presented the projects they'd been working on. A grandma who cares about the futures of kids, who explains so they get it, who mentors without being asked? Unexpected love.
Three times in a couple of days, unexpected love flooded in and supported the kids and me. I thanked each person profusely for their gifts of sharing, prayer and a lesson, but it wasn't until I took some quiet time that I praised the true Giver of each of these gifts. He blessed me through these people and love overwhelmed once again--unexpectedly.