A Few More Potatoes

by | Jun 9, 1998 | Giving, God's Hands, Provision

The phone rang and he gave them the address and hung up the phone.

“Linda, we are going to have some company. Maybe you should add a few more potatoes to the pot.”

My father always told my mother this when we had company stopping by and when you are in the line of work my father is in — well, we always had company stopping by.

We heard the car long before we could see it and as it pulled into the driveway. We could see it was held together with a lot of hope and maybe a little prayer (like most cars that pulled into our driveway). Five people got out of the car, a mother and father and 3 children. I would say the youngest had to be around 4 and the oldest about 8. They walked up to the front door with that beaten look.

We had seen this on so many people before. You could tell they had been down for some time and it was getting harder and harder for them to keep a positive outlook on life after all the beatings they had taken. They were not physical beatings but mental ones. They would look off into the future and would think they saw a light at the end of the tunnel and just as the light would get a little brighter, someone would come along and turn the light out.

They knocked timidly at the door and as always my father opened the door and with his booming voice invited them in. They looked like they were waiting for that other boot to fall. Slowly, as if they were sure it would happen just like it had happened so many times before, the five of them stepped into our home.

“Would you like some supper? We were just about to sit down.”

My father always offered these people something to eat. “How long have you been on the road?” He asked, not allowing them the time to feel embarrassed and steered them towards the table.

We kids had already taken our places and waited to see these new people in our home. This would happen once or twice a week.

“So, like I was saying, how long have you been traveling?” My dad asked as he took his place at the head of the table.

“Well, we left our home about a two weeks ago and between the car breaking down and having to stop and get a job here and there to earn a few dollars for gas, we are hoping to get to my brother’s by the end of tomorrow. Once I am there, it should be okay. He has a job for me but the car is almost out of gas and we haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. It looks like I will have to find a job and make a few dollars so it may be the end of the week before we get there. All I can do is hope they will keep the job open for me.”

“Well, you never know. I will make a few calls and see if I can find you some work for you after dinner. First, we will pray and then we can all have a nice supper. I am sure since it has been so long since you have eaten, you all are all ready to eat.”

My dad finished supper and went in to make a few phone calls and the lady helped my mother clean up the dishes while we entertained the three kids and the father sat in the living room chair looking through the paper for a job, I suppose.

“Well, it doesn’t look good for a job around here,” my dad said as he walked back out into the living room. The man’s face dropped again. It seemed he had been kicked while he was down one more time.

My father saw the look of depression on the man’s face and quickly added, “But I have a lead on something that will help you in the next town. Let’s load up your crew and I will give you directions and the man you can ask for once you get there.”

We all stood on the porch while my dad helped them to get into their old car and he walked around to the driver side and leaned into the window and talked to the man for a few minutes. The man’s face broke into a big smile and he shook my dad’s hand until I thought he would shake it right off.

My dad came back onto the porch and waved goodbye as they turned around and pulled out of the driveway back onto the road and their journey to a new life.

I heard my mother say, “Sam, you gave them our last twenty dollars, didn’t you?”

“Linda, they needed it and the Lord will take care of us.”

Edsel Botting

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A Few More Potatoes