Many times God uses our children to show us the way to our hearts. One day last summer, when returning home from Target we noticed a woman standing alongside the road. She was dressed in a very colorful skirt that was blowing in the gentle warm breeze. I noticed that her hair was shrouded by an enormous hat that covered her head, as well as her shoulders. The hat made it difficult to see her face as she looked down towards the road. I then noticed all her bags beside her and I knew that she was on a long journey. I looked over at Abby and she at the same time looked at me. “Dad, I don’t think she has a place to live!” I agreed with her and so with my daughter’s leading, we drove over next to her. She was somewhere in her late 50’s and was wearing a larger than life smile. As we got near to her , Abby asked me if we could give her something to help her out. Seeing that she had many needs, I searched my wallet for something to give to her. All I had was a ten dollar bill. Abby smiled at me and reached out of the car to give it to her, and this woman accepted it with a kind smile and said, “Thank you!”
We talked with her for a long while and she told us that she had lived in the area many years ago. Her family had fallen on hard times and she now was heading west in an attempt to meet up with a friend. I glanced over at Abby and I could see the compassion that Abby held in her heart for this kind woman.
Looking over at our new friend, we asked if there was anything more that would do for her. She then told us that she was heading to the interstate and could use a ride if that wasn’t too much to ask. The interstate was 7 miles away and it was all-uphill. Abby then told her that we could give her a ride and she readily accepted. As we drove she told us about her life and the ups and downs that she had gone through, some being bad as well as some that brought her happiness. She in turn asked us about our lives and Abby innocently related about herself and her time with friends in the church. She then asked if we were Christians and Abby said that we were. Abby then volunteered by asking if we could pray for her. Our friend accepted and said with a warm expression, “Thank you!”
As we were driving along towards the interstate she had asked how far the St. Charles exit was. I responded by saying that it was about another 20 miles. She said that it was a place that would be a wonderful launching point for traffic heading west. I looked over at Abby and I could see in her eyes that she wanted to do this for our friend. Looking away from Abby to this woman who was holding a larger than life smile, I offered to take her there. She readily accepted and it was the beginning point for her many questions about our faith. Abby did most of the talking and I did the driving.As we past the mile markers heading west, I came to realize that there was something about a child’s faith that made the conversation so innocent and wonderful. I prayed by myself as we traveled along while Abby exchanged things her life as well as listening to this complex lady share about her walk in life. When the time came to say goodbye, we knew that we would never meet again, at least in this lifetime. I though was strengthened by Abby’s innocent faith, and through her, God was teaching me about his ways through Abby’s actions. I also learned that day more of what our Savior meant when he said to his disciples in Matt. 18:3 “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” It was a day that I was privileged to be a part of a child’s faith in action. Jesus was teaching me about giving, unconditional acceptance, and about loving a person not by appearance, but more by what was inside the heart. Jesus was teaching me about himself through a child. “If you have done this to the least of them you have done it to me.”Matt: 25:40