By Greg Miller
ONE by one, the beautiful flowers of spring and summer died, to await their resurrection to new life the following spring.
Slowly, the flowers succumbed to the frost, and the landscape took on a totally new persona. Roses, buttercups, daisies, marigolds, tulips, carnations, balsam, irises, and many other flowers gave way to earth’s rich, dark brown soil. An abundance of trees, whose leaves only a few short weeks ago had been blowing freely in their dark green glory, now looked on with barren branches as those same leaves covered porches, roofs and lawns.
Emmanuel and his wife, Esther, served as caretakers for an estate owned by Ezekiel and his wife, Eve. Esther and Emmanuel had served the same family for about 10 years and were responsible for caring for the flower garden, as well as an ever-growing vegetable garden.
Esther and Emmanuel harvested all the vegetables from the garden, canning about half for Ezekiel and Eve’s winter dining needs. About 25 percent of the harvest was allocated for Esther and Emmanuel’s needs, and the remaining 25 percent was given to a local orphanage to help feed the area’s needy children.
During the winter months, Emmanuel and Esther published a small newspaper for Christian entrepreneurs. The couple ran the paper as a non-profit venture, donating the proceeds to the orphanage.
Ezekiel and Eve took note of the hard work of Emmanuel and Esther. One day, Ezekiel told Eve, “We should go into business with Emmanuel and Esther. They are very hard workers, and they always try to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ with their lives. I believe they would be great business partners.”
Eve agreed with her husband. “You’re right, honey,” she said. “They’re always smiling, and they are always very eager to share the love of the Lord.”
“It’s easy to tell they are Christians,” Ezekiel said. “They’re always humming or singing a praise chorus or talking about the Lord Jesus.”
“In what sort of business would you suggest partnering with them?”
“I think we should open up a resort hotel and restaurant,” said Ezekiel. “I believe we could make a lot of money with Emmanuel and Esther as our partners.”
“And we’d have plenty of additional money to give to the orphanage, right?”
“That’s right, but I do want to make one thing clear. Emmanuel and Esther would be our junior partners.”
“Our junior partners?”
“That’s right! We only have room for one senior partner, and God has already the position!”