I was feeling more than a bit frazzled as I shoved open our tattered screen door. I was hurrying to get the kids in the car and to church on time. In my haste, I almost stepped on a package.
When I opened the package, I found a box of chocolates and a simple white envelope with our name written on it. Money fell out of the envelope.
As for the chocolates, these weren't ordinary ones from the local supermarket. These were chocolates that require an interpreter to tell you exactly how bad they are for you.
Then there was a note. The note, written in a bold, rounded script, said:
Dear Brad and Rochelle and kids, Heard you had some car trouble a while ago. Hope this can help you get back on the road, or fill a money gap. Share the blessings God gives you. Love from God's secret agents. xx PS. Happy Sabbath.
I showed the chocolates to my chocoholic husband and passed him the money and note. He was stunned.
"How much is there?" I didn't know, I'd not counted it. When I did, the $300 seemed so much, for we were poor college students. I felt exhilarated, humbled, and even guilty. What makes people give so unselfishly? It made me want to give away more to others. I felt this sense of Emmanuel, "God with us." It was as if God had plugged us into a recharger. As we prayed thanks to God as a family, I wondered if our fiveyear-old daughter would remember this moment. This was an occasion when God had metamorphosed as secret agents who had hand-delivered some exquisite chocolates. Can you just see him/her/them now? Tip-toeing along our
veranda, package of joy in hand, ducking below the windowsill, heart pounding as they put the goodies on the mat and sneaking off, scarcely breathing until they're in the car and out of sight?
I wanted to play detective to find out who and why. I read and reread the note. I even thought about comparing the handwriting to encouragement notes we'd received in the past.
But this was about more than money and chocolates. This was about God's love given out by secret agents. I know God cooks meals, delivers milk and vegies, fixes Magnas (our car), writes cheques, throws baby showers, sews clothes, babysits, emails and prays with me and for me.
Thanks to God's secret agents I've learned to be more generous. I've learned not to hold so tightly to material things and I've learned to prioritise.
I've also signed up at the agency. And the chocolates? We rationed them out over a whole month. We ate one each that first day and, yes, they were a taste of heaven.
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20.
–Rochelle Melville, who admits having a weakness for chocolates, lives in Cooranbong, New South Wales.