Dear Friends in Christ,
Summer is nearly upon us. I recently came across the following story which blessed me and I thought you might enjoy it:
On a hot summer day, what‘s the most refreshing treat you can imagine? Ice Cream. That’s what hits the spot. And that‘s what people wanted on a hot, sticky day in the summer of 1904. People at the St. Louis World’s Fair had walked for hours in the hot sun, and they were ready for something to cool them off. That’s why they were lined up for what seemed like miles in front of the booth of Arnold Fornachou to get a taste of his frosty ice cream.
The problem was that Arnold’s ice cream was so popular he quickly ran out of paper bowls. The moonlighting teenager scrambled to keep his potential customers by washing and reusing the few ceramic bowls he had on hand. But no matter how hard he worked, many people grew tired of waiting and wandered off in search of another treat. That’s when an unlikely partner emerged to save the day.
His name was Ernest Hamwik, a pastry chef who had grown up in Damascus, Syria. In the booth next to Arnold‘s he was selling a wafer-thin Persian confection called a zalabia. That is, he was offering them but no one was buying them.
When Ernest saw his neighbor’s plight he was struck with a great idea. Grabbing a warm zalabia, he twisted it into a cornucopia shape and rolled it in sugar. Then he ran over to Arnold’s booth and offered it to him. Still scrambling to wash bowls and wait on customers, Arnold didn‘t understand what the older man had in mind. But when Ernest handed an ice cream scoop atop a confection cone to a waiting customer, Arnold instantly got the message. A huge smile spread over his face, and in no time, the two men were working side by side—Ernest made “edible bowls”, Arnold scooped ice cream. Back then, they were called World‘s Fair Cornucopias, and they were the hit of the fair.
As you enjoy eating ice cream this summer, think about how God might be asking you to use the gifts you have, combined with the gifts of someone else, to create something beautiful together in a new and exciting way. Let’s claim the promise that the prophet Isaiah tells us: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Have a blessed summer!
— Pastor Joan