Me: All this food looks good!
Prodigal: I am trying to sneak a taste!
Me: If we have a minute before it is done, I will share.
Prodigal: Take all the time that you need!
This is from the book Where Angels Walk by Joan Wester Anderson
Kenneth was born in Tennessee. A short time later, his father was killed in World War I, and his mother took Kenneth back to Switzerland, where she had grown up.
At seventeen, Kenneth became an Assemblies of God minister, going first to Jerusalem, and later to the south of France, where he met and married the sixteen-year old daughter of Max Vinitski, and Orthodox Jew turned Christian and an artist whose portraits hang in the Louvre, Kenneth became known in Paris as a great evangelist, and when World War II broke out, both the Vinitski and Ware homes became havens for Jewish fugitives fleeing to Spain or Switzerland.
As a son of an American soldier, husband of a Jew, and supporter of the French resistance, Kenneth was in constant danger of being imprisoned. Eventually Kenneth, Suzie, and their infant son tried to flee France. Instead, Kenneth was arrested, interrogated, and beaten, but when a German guard discovered he was a pastor, he was secretly released.
Finally reunited with his wife and son in Lausanne, Switzerland, Kenneth tried to provide for them. One Saturday morning in September 1944, however, he found himself without a penny. Suzie decided to pray–specifically. “God, I need five pounds of potatoes, two pounds of pastry flour, apples, pears, a cauliflower, carrots, veal cutlets for Saturday, and beef for Sunday,” she said.
A few hours later, someone knocked on the door. Suzie opened it to a man carrying a basket of groceries. The man, between thirty and forty years old, was over six feet tall and strong looking, with blue eyes, white-blond hair, and a long blue apron over his work clothes. He seemed radiant, glowing. “Mrs. Ware,” he said, “I’m bringing you what you asked for.” He spoke in perfect French, without the usual Swiss accent.
“There must be some mistake,” Suzie protested, bewildered. “I have not ordered anything.” She called Kenneth.
Kenneth did not think the man looked like an ordinary deliveryman. Perhaps he was the owner of a firm and had gotten the apartment numbers mixed up. “There are twenty-five apartments here, sir. Have you come to the wrong one?” she asked.
The man ignored the question. “Mrs. Ware,” he repeated, “I am bringing what you asked for.” Then he went into the kitchen and emptied the basket. On the table were the exact items Suzie had requested from God that morning–even two pounds of pastry flour was the correct brand. The Wares were shocked. “I turned to apologize, to explain that I hadn’t a coin to give him, but his look of reproach sealed my lips,” Kenneth reported.
Suzie accompained the man to the door and thanked him, then the couple stood by the window to watch him leave the building–via the only route available. But though Kenneth watched, and Suzie opened the door again to check the hallway, the man never went by.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Jennifer Van Allen