Yesterday I shared the words... the dreams... of my little boys. I shared a glimpse of the world through their eyes... a lens of hope... imagination... trust... faith. And I asked, what if. What if we viewed the world with childlike eyes?
I have to admit that I've taught my boys to look away sometimes... to keep walking... to disconnect. It is my job to protect those innocent eyes... those tender hearts, unmarred and vulnerable. So when we see hardship, pain, shattered life... I distract them... that they won't see.
One holds my left hand and one holds my right, swinging their arms, and we squeeze out of the beautiful theater. The street is a gridlock of taxis and convertibles. The sidewalk is a jumbled mass of theater goers and fine restaurant patrons. Horns beeping. Valet whistles blowing. The masses veer to the right, away from the curb. We follow like a trail of ants, marching in step.
I see the back of a wheelchair at the edge of the sidewalk. Why is it so close to the street? A car pulls up beside it. A young man tosses a handful of change. It falls short of the safety of the sidewalk, scattering on the pavement among car tires. "Sorry about that, man."
"No worries... no worries... thank you... thank you."
I see his face. Smiling. I see his hands reaching for the ground. I see his chair teetering on the sidewalk. I see where legs should be, but are not.
And the crowd pushes forward.
The car drives on.
Still he reaches out.
Horns. Chatter. Whistles. Laughter. Engines.
I cannot go on.
What do I have? What can I offer? Anything? Anything at all? They stumble past me as I stop... grumbling loudly. Little boy eyes look at me with puzzled faces. I knew there was at least a single dollar left in my purse from the parking attendant. Fumbling to find it while little hands hang onto my wrist. What is that worth? A hot sandwich up at the corner at least. Maybe a quiet table for a few minutes. Maybe a few more days to smile.
He remains nearly upside down at the edge of traffic, reaching for the lost change. I can't draw little boy feet so close to the sudden rush of cars.
"Would you please give him this dollar?" I call over the noise.
Oh, we do not see. That which isn't pleasing is invisible.
"The man in the wheelchair. Please give him this dollar."
The man rights himself before he tumbles forward. I see a large lump on his head. I imagine he's fallen before. Who helped him? Anyone? Did someone help him up? Did he wait helplessly? Was it dark? Was he alone?
I watch in wonder.
He receives the dollar, barely seeing the giver. He seeks my sight.
"Did he get the change?"
"The change fell in the street before. Did he get the change?"
Yes, the man nods. His eyes rest on mine. His smile softens, traveling up to his eyes. His face is gentle... worn beyond his years. His whole body relaxes. His voice is nearly a hush. Yet I hear him clearly.
"God bless you."
Tears brimful. Throat tight. Heart laid out on the street.
He looks at me the way a father looks at a child. His eyes see clear to my heart.
Ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40 KJV
"God bless you." My lips tremble.
His smile reassures somehow.
I longed to throw my arms around him.
The throng pushes me forward, and in seeing the masses I lose sight of his face.
What did little boy eyes see? What did little boy hearts understand?
My little girl heart saw the eyes of her Father. My heart heard His voice.
What if I looked into more eyes this way?
See yesterday's What If challenge posts at the Faith Barista... where the company is good and the words are real.