Back in the day when I had to drive my daughters to and from school (yay for a teenager with a driver’s license!), I got the chance to learn a very important lesson from a little boy I didn’t know.
While sitting in the car, waiting for my girls to be dismissed from school, a class of four-year-olds walked by headed to the playground. They got to the designated posts where they could hang up their lunch boxes and book bags. Ready to release some pent-up energy, they all hung up their things as quickly as they could and took off.
One little boy caught my attention. He tried several times to hoist the handle of his lunch box over the top of the post. He finally succeeded, then slipped the book bag off his back, and began to maneuver it into place.
With his first attempt, he knocked his lunch box off the post and it fell to the ground. To his credit, he didn’t show any frustration. He just started the whole process over again.
Just down from him another boy, who’d already hung up his own stuff, noticed his classmate’s trouble. While the other children dashed off to the playground, this boy moved in, took the lunch box and quickly put it back in place. He then took the book bag, slid it over the post, and, without a word, both boys turned and continued down the sidewalk.
There wasn’t a lot of fanfare. In fact, I don’t think anyone other than myself saw what happened. But one little guy sweetly helping another little guy really touched my heart.
I have to ask, which character would you and I be in this story? Would we be one of those other kids, wrapped up in the excitement of the moment, unaware that someone needed help?
The other kids weren’t doing anything wrong. I’m sure their hearts were likely just as kind, and most of them would have helped out, too. If, that is, they’d noticed.
But they just didn’t notice. They were involved in their own pursuits, and didn’t take the time to look at what was happening around them.
That four-year-old didn’t know it, but he reminded me of the good Samaritan. [Luke 10:25-37] He saw a need and stopped to help, not expecting thanks or repayment, but just doing what he could in the situation. It was only a small thing, but I’m sure it meant a lot to the boy who needed help.
So let’s ask ourselves what small thing we can do today to let someone know they’re noticed. Let’s live out Colossians 3:12.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”
As Christians, we want to be the ones offering kindness and mercy, putting others ahead of ourselves.
And when we help someone out, we don’t want to do it expecting something in return. That little helper wasn’t looking to get a reward from his teacher or a big pat on the back from the rest of the class. Yet we can rest assured that God sees and knows our heart.
May the example set by this tender-hearted preschooler cause us to notice those in our path who could use a simple act of kindness.