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The Lunch Box

Landon loved bringing his lunch box to school every day. He loved getting to lunch time and opening his lunch box to find a hand-made lunch and a hand-written note from his mom. The notes were always similar, but never exactly the same. They would say that she was praying for his day and include a short scripture and would always close with, “I love you, Mom”.

When Landon was in fourth grade his mom got sick. The doctors diagnosed her with Leukemia. She fought hard against the disease. Through it all, his lunch box was always ready for him in the morning as he headed out the door for school.

One day early in the summer after his fourth grade year, Landon’s dad came to him with red, swollen eyes and said, “You know your mom loved us very much. You know, too, that she loved God even more. Today your mom went to live with God.” It was a terribly sad summer break for Landon. He missed his mom incredibly.

When the first day of school rolled around, Landon got his backpack ready and headed for the door to catch the bus to school. Without thinking he grabbed his lunch box. On the bus, he noticed that his lunch box was light and he realized that it was empty because his mom wasn’t there to fix his lunch. Nobody noticed the tears gathering in Landon’s eyes as he rode the bus to school that morning.

The morning classes went by very slowly. Finally it was lunch time. Landon picked up his backpack and his empty lunch box to go outside, but he noticed that his lunch box was heavier now. When he got to the table under the sycamore tree where he usually ate, he opened his lunch box and found his favorite meal: fried catfish and cornbread. There was also a note inside. He opened the note, and read his mother’s handwriting:

Landon,

Know that I am praying for your day, that you will be able to learn well and grow to be more and more like God wants you to be.

Never forget Psalm 91:1-2.

I love you,
Mom

Of course, Landon cried while eating his lunch. Some of the kids knew that Landon’s mom had died that summer and figured the tears were because he missed his mom. They would walk up and put a hand on his shoulder or elbow and give a light squeeze. Nobody knew the real reason for his tears today.

Landon had trouble focusing on his classes that afternoon. He could hardly wait to get home and look up the scripture in the note. FINALLY, school was over and the bus took Landon home. He ran into the house and got his Bible and read Psalm 91:

1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 He Himself will deliver you from the hunter's net, from the destructive plague. 4 He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, 6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. 8 You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord - my refuge, the Most High - your dwelling place, 10 no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. 12 They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young lion and the serpent. 14 Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him; I will exalt him because he knows My name. 15 When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor. 16 I will satisfy him with a long life and show him My salvation.

Landon loved bringing his empty lunch box to school every day. He loved getting to lunch time and opening his lunch box to find a hand-made lunch and a hand-written note from his mom. The notes were always similar, but never exactly the same. They would say that she was praying for his day and include a short scripture and would always close with, “I love you, Mom”.

As Landon grew, he moved up to middle school and started eating in the cafeteria every day. His lunch box sat on a shelf in his closet. Middle school grew into high school, and eventually, Landon headed off to college.

At college, Landon met Stephanie. She was a sweet, pretty girl, and caught Landon’s eye right away.

Late one afternoon, a bunch of students were hanging around talking. Several said they were hungry and wanted to go get something to eat. After some discussion and chatter, everyone drifted away except Landon and Stephanie. They decided to go pick up a burger at a place just off campus. Their first date wasn’t really a date at all, but Landon knew by the time he went home that he was in love. Stephanie was so much like Landon remembered his mom: strong and quiet and calm in her faith, not pushy or showy.

They started spending a lot of time together, walking and holding hands. Their love for each other grew. They decided that they would get married when they graduated.

In the days leading up to their graduation and wedding, Landon found a small apartment and moved their things into it. Graduation day came and went, and a few days later their wedding and honeymoon. When they got back, they settled into their small apartment and life together.

Landon had found a job just before graduation and was excited about starting life in the professional world. He hadn’t thought about it, but when he moved his things into the apartment, he had put his old lunch box on the shelf in the coat closet by the front door. As he rushed out to work the first day, he grabbed his coat, a small briefcase, and his old lunch box. He smiled on the way to work as he realized his empty lunch box was in his hand.

When lunch time came, his lunch box felt heavier. He took it to a table in the break room and opened it up. Inside was his favorite meal: fried catfish and cornbread. There was also a hand-written note:

Landon,

Know that I am praying for your day.I am so thankful for the godly young man that you are and that I get to share the rest of my life with.

Never forget Psalm 91:1-2.

I love you,
Stephanie
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