It was a long, hot hike – great company, beautiful scenery, but by the end I was exhausted. I stood in line for the bus home, all sweaty and not very fresh smelling, right behind a young woman and her very young son. He was enjoying a snack of green grapes, which he carefully removed from a ziplock bag and popped into his mouth.
The wee boy looked up at me, and we exchanged smiles. He seemed to take a long and careful look at me, which happens when you are the minority and very sweaty. He spoke a quiet sentence to his mother in Cantonese; she looked at me, and then spoke to him in return.
He smiled again, carefully reached into his treat bag, removed two grapes and offered them to me. Surprised, I gratefully took the gifts, and carefully placed them in my mouth. What refreshment they brought to me, and my smile and thank you seemed to satisfy the boy and his mother. Their bus arrived, and with a last wave they were on their way.
As my mouth continued to enjoy the lingering flavour of the grapes, I was struck by how simple his sharing was. He saw my need for a little food and despite how I looked and the language difference, he gave me what I needed from what little he had. He simply shared.
He was living out the parable of the goats and the sheep in Matthew 25:31-45 – For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. (vs 35 specifically). I think we often overcomplicate living out this parable. We get a committee together, study, evaluate and come to a conclusion that needs to be further discussed and voted upon. At times our desire to help and serve gets lost in the process we go through. Even as individuals, we look at the commitment, the cost and potential impact, and evaluate if it is worth our time.
Not this boy – he saw my need and shared. I want to be more like him, to keep my eyes open and simply share.
By Linda Wolfe, Glen Acres Baptist Church, Waterloo