But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.~Galatians 5:22-23a KJV
“Would you like a slice of apple?” Angela asked.
“Sure,” I replied, not knowing she had asked the same question to many others who sat at the conferee lunch table.
Angela divided the apple into equal sections–carefully, precisely—until she got to the last two slices. These she made very thin, and served them to her husband Victor and herself. Had I known she was going to share the entire apple with so many conferees, I would have declined. Then she and Victor could have had more, but this wasn’t Angela’s way. She enjoyed serving God’s people. I didn’t know this then, because it was the first day I met her.
How many ate of Angela’s apple? Five? Perhaps six? I think it was more than seven. I do not recall, but I do remember well Angela’s gentle act of generosity and the pleasure she had in sharing the apple with us.
As I got to know Angela, I realized she shared whatever the Lord gave her, whether it was an apple or any other possession, and she went about serving people in the gentlest way possible. Whether she was working the call center phones, praying with individuals, or working the altars, or slicing apples–these acts spoke of her priorities—Jesus must have first place in her life, and she must serve others before herself.
Angela did not get a generous slice of the apple that day, but she was satiated to her core with something more valuable–she was filled with God’s presence, and it was obvious to all that His joy overtook her. In fact, her joy was a contagion around the table. In Galatians 5 we read about spiritual fruitfulness Angela displayed.
Angela excelled at gentleness and many other spiritual fruits. She had a genuineness about her that everyone who met her knew was real, and these characteristics came because she prioritized her relationship with Jesus Christ.
My friend’s example taught me that how we express Christ’s love in everyday living speaks more powerfully than any noble performance. Some try to hide an act that’s not good; Angela tried to hide her good works so Jesus could be seen through her. Even though she tried to go unnoticed, her humility, gentleness, and generosity caused her to stand out like a sparkling gem.
The good works of some are manifested beforehand.~1 Timothy 5:25b KJV
Through Angela’s example, I learned that sharing the Lord’s love is not complicated. It starts with spending time in God’s presence, and from this vital connection, we express His love as we live our lives.
Angela had the innate ability to make Jesus’ love real through simple acts, like slicing apples. And so I say to you today, my friend, let’s spend time with Jesus, and then, let’s start slicing apples.
Share ways you can develop spiritual fruit.
Father God, help me to daily serve Your people through acts of genuine love.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This devotion memorializes a remarkable lady named Angela Marcos, wife of Pastor Victor Marcos. It is my prayer that Angela will always be remembered for her kindness and her devotion to her family and to her beloved Jesus Christ. Angela’s Apple (La Manza de Angelita) has been translated by Pastor Victor Marcos, and shared in Virginia Beach, VA and Lima, Peru.
Copyright 2016 : Angela’s Apple; La Manza de Angelita: Diane Virginia Cunio: All Rights Reserved
Published: October 25, 2019: Christian Broadcasting Network: Beth Patch, Senior Producer