Monday, January 18, 2010

No Ordinary Day at the Park

The girls and I left the park and went to the grocery story. We needed some bread and fresh produce. We ran around the produce section to pick up fresh fruits. I came around one of the bins of fruit to see a boy trying to climb out of the seat of the shopping cart. We have all seen it at least a thousand times. We cringe and think the child is going to fall and crack his head open. I ran over and told the boy to have a seat. His mother was preoccupied at the moment collecting some veggies and returned quickly to our side.

My little Joanna is eight years old and had followed me over when I moved to instruct the young boy. The mother was explaining to us that he would not listen to her and stay seated. I began to concur with her about the safety of staying seated. I heard a small voice start to talk to the boy. The mother and I stopped our discussion to turn to listen in.

Joanna proceeded to tell him about the Hedge of Thorns. A smile crept across my face realizing how much she had gleaned from this story. She explained about the path the parents told the children to stay on. How when the boy decided he wanted the apple from the other side of the hedge, his heart made a plan to not listen to his parents. She continued to talk about the sister who was really hurt because the boy would not listen. The word "listen" came up so much, this mother standing next to me, confirmed Joanna's words at every chance she could. The mother was clearly engaged as well. I stood back to see the three of them all chatting. Joanna talked directly to the young boy and pleaded with him to listen to his mom.

The mother was tender and very appreciative towards Joanna. She asked her son to say thank you. He had not said anything until then. With a sweet disposition, he politely answered, "Thank you very much." Joanna and I asked how old he was. He said he was four. He was so pleasant to engage.

We said good-bye and Joanna slipped her hand in mine when we walk away. I remember the warmth of her hand, but I will never forget her warm ministry to this young boy because of one story she heard at the park that day.

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