God’s Faithful Care

I digress from the story of our summer circuit to address a handful of friends whose stories have really touched me:  their husbands are out of work, their children are many, their options are few.

If you are one of these who have recently shared your story with us, know that our God is faithful. Every moment we indulge in gratitude to His glory reminds us of the faithfulness and the goodness of our heavenly father.  This story, told by Patricia Youngman, is for you:

“My parents married at eighteen and had ten children. In 1930, when I was six, my father lost his job. The Great Depression had arrived and the job market began to dry up, so he went from door to door in Waukegan, Illilnois, asking whether people had painting, paperhanging, or other odd jobs for him. He swallowed his pride and went to township offices to plead for help. Every other day or so, he brought home a bushel basket of coal in a little red wagon, coal he found along the railroad tracks where it fell from coal cars and trains. He soled our shoes on a last in the basement, shoes that had already been passed on from one child to the next. He put layers of cardboard in his own shoes to cover the holes so he could walk to the local factories and wait outside all morning for the labor bosses to choose day laborers. Sometimes he was chosen, more often he wasn’t.

He demonstrated his love by the small things he did each day. He was always the last one to bed and the first one up. That meant banking the coal stoves so they wouldn’t go out during the night, and fanning them back to life in the morning. By the time we got up, we could flip from front exposure to rear exposure in front of the hot stove, keeping at least half of our body warm while we dressed. He always had water heated on the stove for washing faces and hands, and a pan of cocoa, made with one part cocoa, two parts canned milk, seven parts water, and a bit of sugar. He made toast on some kind of wire contraption on top of the coal stove. Whenever possible, he insisted that my mother stay in bed with whoever was the current baby, and he brought her a tray with cocoa and toast.

Thanks to Daddy, we never knew we were dirt poor until we were grown. He protected us from it all. He saw that we were fed, even though our food was largely beans, peas, and whatever he could raise in a small garden. We were housed, even though we had to move frequently to places with cheaper and cheaper rent. When he talked to us about those moves, he made them seem like exciting adventures. Most of all, we always knew we were loved and would be cared for.”

One Response to “God’s Faithful Care”

  1. Theresa Says:

    This past Sunday I shared with Robert’s mom, who grew up in the Depression, what you wrote in this post because it reminded me of stories she has shared. She agreed that they never knew they were poor until they grew up. What a blessing! May our children learn to truly be content and thankful with what the Lord God provides.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Praise the Lord for His continued provision on your summer circuit and may the Lord be with your boys as they finish studying and write their exams. They have been in our prayers.

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