I love cashews. There is a commercial on tv at the moment where a very homely woman is being followed around the big city by a gaggle of gorgeous guys, and all because she has used the scent of a cashew as a perfume. I dislike the commercial, but the mention of cashews got me to thinking of a story I once heard.
When I was a kid, my church had week-long missionary conferences each year. For a week, night and morning, we listened to missionaries from all around the world. I loved Missionary Conference time. I miss it. I think we have lost a wonderful means of sharing the work God is doing and really getting to know the people we send our $$ to on the field. When we had missionary conferences at Salina Bible Church, I really felt that partnership in the ministry and goal of winning the lost for Christ. But I digress...this post is about a story one of the missionaries told that has stayed with me all these years.
If you look at the picture, you will see a cashew fruit. The cashew nut is in the pod hanging at the bottom of the fruit. I had no idea cashews grew in this manner. Did you?
Once upon a time, there was a missionary family who lived in Brazil. The family had two children, a boy and a girl. And in their front yard were two cashew trees, one for the girl and one for the boy. The children loved to eat the cashew fruit, so juicy and sweet. The problem with cashew fruit, however, is that if you get the juice on your clothes it will leave a stain. But not right away. The stain is only visible after the clothes come in contact with water.
The two children had special 'cashew clothes' to wear when they wanted to eat cashew fruit. They would come home from school, change into their 'cashew clothes', and climb into their trees and eat as much fruit as they wanted.
One day the kids ate so much cashew fruit that they were not hungry for supper. The mother asked them if they had worn their cashew clothes in the trees. The children looked at one another, then nodded. "Yes, mom, we wore our cashew clothes."
Later, when the mother did the laundry, she noticed big brown splotches on the children's expensive school uniforms. When she called them in, they confessed they had lied to her about changing their clothes.
I have remembered this story for ages, recalling the moment when the missionary mother shook her head and sadly told us, "I didn't know until I had washed the clothes that they were ruined. But God knew. God knows everything. He sees your sin, even if no one else ever finds out. God sees into your heart and knows everything that goes on there."
A simple story with a powerful lesson.
Do you remember any lessons like this from your childhood?