On Saturday, I took the kids to our small town's annual rodeo parade. The rodeo comes to town every year and there is always a parade with lots of horses, cowboys, antique cars, and most importantly CANDY!
The parade participants always have bags full of candy that they throw out to the kids along the route. My girls bring their purses and The Bubba brings an empty coffee can for collecting their loot.
They bagged plenty of it, believe me, and made sure that the little ones got their share, too.
On the way home, we passed by two rough looking middle aged men wearing backpacks and holding cardboard signs that said, "Hungry. Please help." I only gave them a moments notice when I thought, "Huh, I haven't seen any panhandlers since we moved here from the big city 5 years ago."
It was unusually quiet in Hogzilla while everyone enjoyed their candy. Then, MaddieLynn said, "Mommy, if I make those men some sandwiches, will you bring me back here to give it to them?" I said that I would and a few minutes later we were home.
MaddieLynn went straight to the kitchen and set to work. She asked me if I thought they would like ham on their sandwiches and I said that most people do. She made two hearty ham sandwiches, and included chips, some of her homemade cookies, and a few assorted pieces of the candy she had just collected. She found two water bottles and filled them with ice water, then packed everything in a bag.
We all loaded back up and were back on our way to give the men some lunch less than 15 minutes after we had first seen them.
When we got to the traffic light where they were stationed, MaddieLynn hopped out and chirped a cheerful, "Hi! I made you some lunch!" They seemed genuinely grateful and said, "Thank you!" and "God bless you!"
All the while MaddieLynn was cheerfully serving those men that she had never seen before, I was thinking of the scripture I posted here earlier. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
MaddieLynn is 12 years old and I no longer think of her as a little child. She is my friend and my helper. She makes me laugh and makes me proud.
But, today I thought of her as the little child Jesus mentioned. She was full of innocence and compassion. She didn't have any thoughts of judgement or scorn. Just love.
I want to be like her. Like a little child.