But Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14
It’s tucked away in the memories of my mind…a snippet in a sea of remembrances. I’ve said it so many times by now that some might say it is overkill, but the bottom line is my Daddy and Momma went so far to make special days…special. The king of the hill, of course, was Christmas but they also tried to make each birthday special. They couldn’t afford it but somehow, they did it. And one of those sacrifices is the center of the snippet.
It was probably 1959. I was about five years old growing up in a world so different from today you would think that we moved to a different planet. It was a dozen days past Christmas, and it was my birthday. I’m sure there was cake, I’m sure there was a family celebration but what I remember most is the present. I’m not sure how you decide what to get a five-year-old, but Daddy and Momma sure knocked it out of the park that year.
Since there were no K-Marts or Walmart’s, I can only imagine that Daddy and Momma went down to the local Western Auto to shop. If you don’t remember they were a neighborhood store that was part appliance store, part general store and part household store. They also had a selection of toys…especially at Christmas and maybe that is why they had what I got. That year my parents bought me an ice cream truck.
Well, it really wasn’t a truck, and it really didn’t hold ice cream, but it was something special. It had three wheels, like a trike, but behind the seat it had large metal box with decals that said, “ice cream.” The handlebars had those plastic streamers on each end, the front wheel had a fender and of course, it had a bell. I can remember driving and peddling down the road in front of our house. There was little traffic so there was also little danger of getting run over.
For some reason I can remember about a quarter of mile down the road a man was building a small box house. He was singlehandedly taking on this project, and I decided to peddle down there, and he was working away. I “pulled up” and asked if he would like an ice cream and the reason I remember him, his house and that day was that rather than brush me off…he played along and if I remember correctly, almost every day I would peddle down the road to see my new customer and friend. The ice cream was pretend, but his kindness was not. Looking back at this snippet of a memory, it still makes me smile.
Hanging over the fireplace in my wife’s “keeping room” is a quote by Maya Angelou. Something she said says so much. She said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And that is the very reason I remember this man taking time from building a house to talk and befriend a five-year-old boy. I don’t remember his name, but I do remember his heart.
What about you? What about us? I wonder will we take the time to be kind…to treat someone with an extra measure of kindness and implant a “snippet” in their hearts? In those days when I was five, kids were supposed to be more seen than heard. There seemed to be the adult world and the kid’s world and while there weren’t walls there were boundaries and this kind man chose to move beyond the boundary. He made me feel…important. He made me feel like I mattered. Perhaps today, we should try to do the same. Today, perhaps we should choose to be like…Jesus.
Jesus was famous for seeing the invisible people and touching the untouchable. He even said one time, “Let the little children come to Me.” He would have said to that little five-year-old boy with an ice cream truck, “Let Dewayne come to me.” And I want you to know that no matter how invisible you feel, no matter how insignificant…you are not either to Jesus! Tattoo that on your hearts…you matter, and you matter a lot to Him. So, if life seems overwhelming, or maybe underwhelming, just remember you’ve got a friend in Jesus. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne