They were the only family with children in the restaurant. The mother sat with their son Erik
in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking.
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.'
He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes
were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin,
as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
The mother looked around and saw the source of his merriment.
It was a man whose pants were baggy and his toes poked out of his would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty,
his hair was uncombed, his whiskers were too short to
be called a beard and his nose was so varicosed it looked like a road
map. They were too far from him to smell, but she was sure he
smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
'Hi there, baby. Hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the
man said to Erik.
The father and mother exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'
Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi'
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at them and then at
the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with her beautiful
Their meal came and the man began shouting from across the room,
'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey,
look, he knows peek-a-boo.'
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was
THe father and mother were embarrassed. They ate in silence; all
except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the
admiring skidrow bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute
comments. They finally got through the meal and headed
for the door.
The father went to pay the check and told the mother to meet him in the
The old man sat poised between the mother and the door.
'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' she
prayed. As she drew closer to the man, she turned her back trying to
sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As she did, Erik leaned
over her arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's' 'pick-me-up'
position. Before she could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from her
arms to the man's.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated
their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and
submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged
shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and she saw tears hover beneath his
lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled
her baby's bottom and stroked his back.
No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. She
stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms
and his eyes opened and set squarely on hers. He said in a firm
commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow she managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though
he were in pain. She received her baby, and the man said, 'God bless
you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.' She said nothing more
than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in her arms, She ran for the car. The husband was
wondering why she was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why she was
saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'
She had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of
a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a
soul, and a Mother who saw a suit of clothes. She was a Christian who
was blind, holding a Child who was not.
She felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for
a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.. The ragged old
man, unwittingly, had reminded her, 'To enter the Kingdom of God we
must become as little children.'
If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on.
Live Simply -
Love Generously -
Care Deeply -
Speak Kindly -
Leave the Rest to God
(thank you, Angel!)and tat666too