This morning, the day I have been dreading since my boy's birth arrived. Those words that I knew would come, but would never be ready for, were spoken to me by Parker. We had finished our bike ride to school and we were in the bike cage locking up his bike. Just as I went to give him a good bye kiss he looked at me and said, “Daddy, when you pick me up today, instead of waiting for me here, can you wait for me down by that first street?” He said it so nonchalantly. My heart was crushed. I was no longer cool and acceptable in the eyes of my seven year old. (And yes I am cool!!) Picking up the pieces that were my heart, I very calmly asked why. His response literally made me tear up. He said, “There is this new boy in my class that walks home this way and he has to walk by himself.” He continued, “I thought I would walk with him so he did not have to walk by himself, since he is new and does not really know anyone yet.”
Guess how far this new boy has to walk? Yup, down to the first street. Exactly where Parker asked me to wait for him. This seven-year old, my son, made me so proud at that moment. Just as crushed as I was a few moments ago, I was even more proud now. My internal, immediate response was, “is there anybody else you want to walk with?” Shoot, if he is thinking like this I would hide in the bushes and wait as many streets away as he needed. However, I simply said “sure” and gave him a good bye kiss and pedaled home.
This was the epitome of “love thy neighbor”. This was the essence of humility and putting another ahead of himself. With all of the excitement of a new school year, the new challenges, the old friends, Parker was able to see another person's needs over and above all of it. He was modeling exactly what I preached about Sunday. And he was not even here!
With that in mind, I encourage you to take some time this week and look for another person you can love; another person you can lift above yourself. Maybe it is someone you have meant to call for a while but just never have. Maybe it is someone whom you have lost touch with and would like to reconnect. It may even be a person you see everyday.
It has often been said God works in mysterious ways. Case in point, Debbie felt the Holy Spirit nudge her this past week to pray for a specific person. She trusted this and obeyed. She contacted the person just let them know they had been prayed for. That person called her back and was so grateful for the prayer because they were in the beginning stages of getting divorced from their spouse.
Putting others above ourselves, loving our neighbors, can be hard. It can be time consuming. But it is never futile. God can and does work good out of it. God knows, better than we do, who needs our love and support. Look around this week. Find another person to reach out to. God has a whole list and I am sure he will point you in an incredible direction.
Have a great week!
Have a great week!