It was not long ago that my wife and I were able to go door-to-door with both our 4-year old daughter and 6-year old son, as they very successfully sold chocolate bars to many of our neighbors. Just one look at them, and some of the neighbors would respond with, “Oh, don’t they look sweet!” I think a few of them even added something like, “How many chocolate bars do you want me to buy?”
It was actually a dazzling and wonderful experience … we got to meet so many people … my son, my daughter, my wife, and myself … all selling chocolate bars together for our children’s school (they won the prize for 1st place, by the way … dad also sold a ‘few’ at work …).
Door-to-door we went, knocking on this door … moving on to the next door … watching our way as we sometimes crossed the street … wondering if anyone was home at this place … being too afraid to go to that place (because of the vicious dog!), etc …
From door-to-door, something amazing began to happen. For example, one man was sitting “back” inside his garage … the garage door was wide open … the man had dark glasses on, and had a cane. He was, as it were, “enjoying the scenery” on this warm, fall, day, but oddly enough, he was nestled right inside his garage — you would have thought that he would be out in the open more, where there was more light.
There was a sense of liberty, and I started up a conversation with him. He was going blind from diabetes … he had burdens on his heart that he really hadn’t shared with others … he went to the church down the road … he just wanted to talk with someone and share with them. All these things we learned in the span of just a few moments.
Strangely, I felt led to offer to pray for this man. The man graciously accepted. Tears started rolling down his eyes. God was doing something. God was healing this man from his wounds. He was using another person … very similar to himself in many ways … to effect or bring about that healing.
Funny thing … those chocolate bars. God’s chocolate, I like to think of it. That’s because it belongs to God, and God had a divine purpose for us in going from house-to-house, with our kids. God’s purposes were indeed effected, or brought about, during our rounds, I am sure.
Then, there was the case of the middle-aged woman with four children. We knocked on her door. Immediately (this happens to me about 10 times a year), I had the very clear revelation that it was okay to start talking to her about Jesus, right away! So I did. “Are you a Christian?” I asked her. “Well … I’m trying,” she responded.
Turns out she was not an avid church-goer, but she was very open to talking. God was doing something. God had a purpose in this visit. “What is it, Lord?” I wondered to myself. In fact, as we talked, she began to openly share with me something that was very personal, very dear, and very painful to her. Though she loves children very much and would not ever wish for them to die, some time ago she was faced with the very difficult decision of having her pregnancy terminated due to her own internal bleeding. Her otherwise very healthy baby died as a result. While this woman today has four beautiful heaven-sent children, yet the loss of her fifth one produced a lot of guilt in her, as she told me.
That, you see, was something that I myself could relate with — that whole sense of guilt and condemnation that a person tends to feel once they have lost a child. (We lost our third child before birth and I still suffer from feelings of guilt that spring up at the most unsual times … often several times a day).
So there I was, able to relate with this woman, and who better suited was there to pray for her than someone such as myself, who could relate with her? So there I was, again, in a ministry situation, all because of this “chocolate” that we were selling, door-to-door.
And there were other situations that we encountered as well, in which we were able to either share the gospel outright, or simply leave well-written publications for the people to read. Very very few people ever turned us down.
While some people were “heavily” hit with the gospel message, or with just plain love through prayer and conversation, yet others — even those we didn’t speak with, but just “plain sold chocolate bars to” — must have been impacted to a certain extent, as well:
1) First, through our personal testimony of being gentle, and cheery, and “not pushy” (like the world so often is) in our sales approach. This is a way to represent Christ, and spread his “essence,” or “fragrance,” or “aroma” to others.
2) Secondly, through our children, who were quite well-behaved through this time, and displayed the same type of attitude as would be expected of someone representing Christ. Children can often “reach to the heart of an individual” when adults can’t. And who can say how many would have turned us down if our children had not been there? Probably many.
3) Thirdly, by the fact that we went with our children, selling chocolate bars with them … that “spoke up” to at least a few people who commented, “I see so many of these kids these days … and their parents don’t go with them.” Really, the testimony was very positive in this respect, and I will never forget the comments made to me about this by at least one woman.
4) Fourthly, and not lastly, our kids attend a Christian school that has a very good reputation and is affiliated with a respected church. When selling the bars, we were able to tell many of the people that they were being sold to help our kids who attend such-and-such a school which is affiliated with such-and-such a church. Who knows but that the inscription on each of those chocolate bars, “Life Christian Academy” may have spoken to the hearts of some individuals about their own need to seek Christ?
Who’s chocolate was that, again?
“God’s chocolate,” that’s who’s!
Because God had a divine purpose in all of it.
By way of application, I would simply like to extend these circumstances to really “anything that comes along in life.” We may be tempted to think, “Why does the school have to sell chocolate bars? Is there not another way to raise money? Oh … not that again!” But it just may be … that God has a divine purpose in it after all. At least, that was our experience. And I just can’t wait … till next year rolls around … so we can do it all again!
Lord, you make g-o-o-d chocolate! And what divine purposes you have in store for those who will go “door-to-door” selling it on your behalf!