Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Today was a day that I think I'll remember for a while. It's one of those things that gets etched in your memory for one reason or another and seems to never fade. Today I brought Zeke to a retirement home for a bit of volunteer work with some of his schoolmates. I had mixed feelings going into it because it somehow felt "not right" since I rarely go to see my own grandmother in her nursing home. Why was I visiting complete strangers... did I think I was going to get some type of "extra credit" with God or something? I don't know. All I know is that when the flyer came home in Zeke's backpack, I felt the need to begin to show him that this world is made up of more than just himself and his tiny circle of friends and family. There are others out there who need stuff. And need people. And at some point in time, it's my job to show him how to reach out. I guess now is as good a time as any to get started. So, we went and we met a little old lady named Lilly. Lilly was precious. Not very talkative, very sweet and very alert. But there was something in her eyes and in her curiosity about Zeke that made me wonder what was going on in her head. She watched his every move as he colored on the construction paper cards they were making together. She studied his hands, his face, his hair. A tiny smile was on her pretty, wrinkly face the entire time they worked. And at one point, she reached over and touched Zeke's hair with just one frail finger. Zeke looked nervously at me and I told him it was ok, that Lilly was just happy to see him. And it was then, at that very moment, that I realized that Lilly may not have really been touching Zeke's soft hair. I think Lilly was taken back for a few brief moments today...back to a time when she sat at her own kitchen table, with her own toddler, with his own crayons, and they colored together on a cold winter's day. I think Lilly was touching her own son's hair, just for a second, and you know what? Giving little old Lilly those few moments to step back in time was very much worth any trouble it was to fit this project into our schedule today. And as far as getting extra credit with God? Who needs it? I feel like today was a gift - a little surprise tucked away that I forgot to open at Christmas. Thanks Lilly. And thanks Zeke. Today I've learned big lessons from a 3-year-old and a 90-year-old. Who would've thought?