THE BABY AND THE OLD MAN

THE BABY AND THE OLD MAN

This is a first-person account from a mother about her family as they ate
dinner on Christmas Day in a small restaurant many miles from their home.
Nancy, the mother, relates:

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a
high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly,
Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands
on the highchair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was
bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a
tattered rag of a coat, dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a
zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would be shoes. His shirt was
dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short
to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose, it looked like a road
map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands
waved and flapped on loose wrists.”Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see
ya, buster,” the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Everyone in the
restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was
creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began
shouting from across the room, “Do ya know patty cake? Do you know
peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a boo. Nobody thought the old man was
cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in
silence, all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the
admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to
pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The man sat
poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he
speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my
back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I
did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s pick-me-up
position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms
to the man’s.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love
relationship. Erik, in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his
tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed and I saw
tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain and hard
labor-gently, so gently cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.

No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood
awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and
then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding
voice, “You take care of this baby.” Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a
throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest unwillingly,
longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said,
“God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered “thanks.” With Erik in my arms, I ran
for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so
tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.” I had just
witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw
no sin, who made no judgment, a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a
suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was
God asking . . . “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?”, when HE
shared His for an eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded
me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

— Author Unknown

About Roger Overweg

Interest include: Nature photography, Detroit Tigers, I'm a Spiritual, Meditative, analysis, Divorce, Spirituality, Weather, Chicago Cubs, Talk radio, Lighthouses, Medicine, Meditation, Hiking, Fishing, Short wave radio, Bible, Holy Bible, News, Newspapers, Photography, Baseball, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Coffee, Prayer, Freash-water-fish-aquarium. Reading, Books, Lakes, Streams, Dunes, Devotionals, Philosophy
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