Thursday, June 10, 2010
When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, she came home one day to announce that a boy in her class had given her "the finger" and she wanted to know what it meant. I'm not talking a pinky promise. I'm talking "Tall Man to the sky" finger. I was horrified! What was I going to tell her? I'm one of those moms that is usually very open with my girls, but this seemed too much too soon. So I sat her down and told her that it meant she didn't love God. I know...that's probably a little much, but I just didn't want her going around flashing her newly learned gesture to all her friends. I then told her that this particular little boy probably liked her and didn't know how to show it, (Total default answer), while in my mind I was already plotting my strategy. I would have lunch with my daughter at school the next day and while the guilty party enjoyed his lunch I would throw him the occasional stink eye punctuated with a raised brow. That's when my daughter told me that the little delinquent's mom and dad were in prison and he was living with his grandparents. My heart just sank. Immediately, everything changed. I no longer saw this child as a "bad kid", but rather a broken soul caused by circumstances outside of his control. I sat for a minute looking down at my daughter as she waited for my response. I pictured her as that child confused, sad, angry...and it was then that a question entered my mind. It wasn't my own question. It was God's question. Does anyone ever bring lunch to him? Before I could think, I was asking my daughter more questions. She didn't know much else about him, except that he spent a lot of time sitting on the black top during recess. That's when I knew what I had to do. I showed up the next day at my daughter's school, two happy meals in tow. Without a word, I walked over to the young man and handed him the happy meal. He looked completely bewildered. I just smiled and said, "I thought you might like a happy meal." Then I walked over and sat with my daughter. I can't say that for him it was a life altering event. But I can say that it was life altering for me. God taught me so much about looking past what a person does to why they are doing it in the first place. We never know what burden another person is carrying, but if we stop and listen to God we may find that lightening another's load is as easy as a $2.99 Happy Meal.