Peaches in a Tomato Can

When I was a child, I had many miraculous answers to my prayers and through those answers my faith grew into something very precious and fine. I do truly thank my Heavenly Father for those choice testimonials that came to me in my childhood. You may think them so simple that they would not interest our Father in Heaven, but if He was mindful of a sparrow’s fall, why should He not be mindful of a little child’s trusting faith?

My dear mother was ill and for days was unable to eat anything. It grieved me very much because I wanted always to see her well and happy. This was a lonely Sunday and nearing time for dinner. Mother seemed a little better that day and I was so glad. I went into her room and asked her what she would like to eat.

“Well dear,” she answered, “I don’t have much choice. If I eat, I will have to eat just what is on hand.”

We lived about ten or twelve miles from a store, and driving a team that distance was a full day’s job, sometimes taking us far into the night. We were low on groceries at this particular time. We always bought our canned goods in cases, and would sometimes purchase several cases of tomatoes, corn, etc., at a time.

At this time we did not have much of anything left in the cellar except tomatoes. Mother was so sick of tomatoes; she told me what she would rather have than anything else – if she could have it. She thought a moment, then said, “If I could really have what I want most, it would be some good cold peaches fresh from the cellar.” Then she added, “I guess I’ll try to imagine the tomatoes are big juicy peaches and let it go at that.”

I left mother and made my way into the little bedroom where I was born, the room mother always used to go into for prayer, and knelt beside the bed. I told the Lord in my own simple way what a wonderful mother I had and how I wanted to bring her some peaches for her dinner. I arose, happy in the trusting faith – or shall I say knowledge – that my prayer would be answered. I seemed to know what to do.

I arose and hurried into the cellar and lighted a candle that I might be able to see better. There was one open case of tomatoes sitting on top of a full case. With great effort I lifted off the top box. I took the hammer lying nearby and with much lifting and banging I tore loose one board from the heavy wood case. I lifted out one can, about in the center of the case, then lifted out another can from the bottom layer. I ran like a wild child back to the house, knowing that inside that can that I carried – with the red tomato picture on it – would be luscious yellow peaches.

When I carried a big dish of the golden fruit to her bed with some toast, she took me in her arms and wept and asked me what I did to get the peaches. I told her of my prayer and of my effort to lift the heavy case and open the other one, and how I discarded the first can and took the second one.

After I left the room Aunt Laura said, “Well, they just made a mistake when they labeled the cans. Isn’t it strange. In all my life I never found peaches in tomato cans. And that she should open another case and select a certain can; I know the Lord heard her prayers and guided her hand to that one can. And don’t try to tell me differently.”

I slowly pondered the situation as I went leisurely back to our prayer room and thanked my Heavenly Father for answering my prayer. Mother was up and dressed when I returned home some time later.

“Your peaches cured me, darling,” she said as she hugged me to her heart.

Maggie Tolman Porter

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