One night when I was putting Sam to bed, we were having one of our, “Dad, let’s have a talk” discussions. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but I certainly remember the way it ended up.
As we were talking, the discussion meandered to a time when I was a boy on my paper route and how I’d love to eat fruit as I delivered my papers. I told him how I had customers and neighbors of customers who gave me their permission to “cut” through their yard on my route and to also help myself to fruit off of their apple and pear trees.
He listened attentively with wide eyes and riveted gaze. As I described my trip on my route, I told him about how good an apple tastes when the sun is out in September and the apple has just been picked. His face broke in to a huge smile as he continued to listen. I think he could almost taste the apple as I described the experience to him.
I explained how crisp those apples were and how they were so much more so than any apples that had been picked weeks earlier and stored in refrigeration until someone bought them from a grocery store.
I have to say that the delight on his face inspired me to delve into all of the details I could muster. I described, as vividly as I could, the experience of putting my mouth on the hard, rough surface and biting into the crisp juicy apple. I explained that the fresh apple was so much juicier than any store bought apple and that the apple would almost explode in my mouth with flavor as the juice burst out of the apple.
Now, Samuel loves fruit. He gets fruit to eat on a regular basis. But this night, it was like he’d never had an apple before. He relished that apple as he asked me to tell the story over and over again.
Finally, he could not stand it any longer and exclaimed that we must get up from bed and go out in the kitchen and get an apple right then! I explained that we could not since it was bed time but that we would enjoy an apple the next day. So instead of eating an apple, I had to tell the story several more times before he would go to sleep.
The next morning, when I got him up, he immediately wanted to go to the kitchen and get an apple. I explained that we would do that later that day after I got home from work.
At noon time, when I came home for lunch, he was waiting for me, anxiously prodding me to get an apple that we could enjoy. I almost could not stand it and became anxious to enjoy the apple with him. But alas it was nap time for Sam, so we could not have fruit right then.
After work I came in the door and there he was again, ready to “experience” the apple. But it was dinner time, so, again, we had to delay the apple. I thought he was going to explode.
Finally, dinner was over and it was time. I was almost as excited as he. I got the apple, put it in the oven for a few minutes to simulate the warmth of the sun (the best I could do without an authentic apple tree in September).
When I finally approached the table where Sam was sitting, he was sitting on the edge of his chair and had both hands out with a huge grin on his face – obviously primed with anticipation.
With both hands he held the apple to his mouth and I could see him anxiously trying to experience every sensation. He bit in and the grin on his face was priceless as the juice burst into his mouth from the inside of the apple. “Mmmmm, the flavor!” he exclaimed. I’ll never eat an apple again without experiencing it through Sam’s eyes that day.
But it occurs to me that it would be so exciting if we could whet others appetites for Christ so that they, too, could not wait to taste and see, to savor the Savior we so delight in.
Thank you, Samuel, for teaching me such a valuable object lesson. I’ve so much to learn from the life of Samuel.