A moment can anchor itself in a person's heart for eternity and what happened next will certainly be that way for me!

Sometimes God gives the gift of hope in the twilight hour when life seems grim and time is not your friend. When you feel almost obligated to replay in your mind the painful events of the past and darkly reflect upon the consequences of those events. This is what happened to me one Saturday evening, and the blessing that came from it is yet more proof that our Father cares for us greatly! When I got home from work that evening, I said a prayer of gratitude.

Because of the events of my recent past, I am an outcast to my family and cannot have any kind of contact with my niece and three nephews, whom I love dearly, nor will the law allow me to have a friendship with any child, boy or girl. I have also lost contact with my beloved young friend, and do not know how to find him because he has moved to another state.

I was working one Saturday night until closing time at the supermarket. I had three hours to go until I could help lock things up and go home. Business was slow and time was dragging on, which matched my thoughts that just kept getting more and more depressing. Then in walked a gift from God!

A man and a young boy of about nine years old walked in and they quietly made their way to the produce department. I was at the cash register and I watched them until they turned a corner and I could see them no more. I have seen them in the store before and I know a little bit about them. I know that the man is in no way related to the boy but he tries to spend as much time with him as possible. I know that they share a very close friendship.

The boy has a pretty nasty home life because his real father won't have a thing to do with him and his mom is usually too busy with work to spend time with him. I know also that the boy was born deaf and did not learn to speak until just about a year ago. I believe the doctors have managed to restore at least some of his hearing. The man who was with him, who is his closest friend and whom he is almost always with, has also helped him learn to speak.

When they came up to the checkout, the boy kept his eyes on me the entire time. He wears very thick glasses and they magnify his beautiful eyes--eyes which filled me with warmth I have not felt for a very long time.

I tore my eyes away from his and looked back at the man who is his best friend in the world. The man gave me a slight smile, placed the objects of their late night quest on the counter, and humbly dug around in the pockets of his worn-out jeans for money to pay me. I looked down at what he placed on the counter: two of our cheapest apples--not the kind that people usually buy to eat, but Granny Smith apples--the kind you cook with and put into pies. He was buying two of them obviously as a late-night snack for the two of them.

I almost cried! My mind was flooded with memories of the simple, joyful times I did the very same kind of thing with my YF. I had very little money but he and I didn't care because our love for one another made us blind to any lack of material things.

The man sheepishly handed me sixty cents in change and I regained enough composure to complete the transaction. The young boy was still looking up at me, smiling silently. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. A moment can anchor itself in a person's heart for eternity and what happened next will certainly be that way for me! As the two friends picked up their purchase and quietly headed for the door, the boy turned, gave me a big smile and with a wave of his hand he said, "Goodbye!" A single word, a simple gesture, but it almost literally brought me to my knees!

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Oh dear Lord, forgive me for thinking only of myself and my own problems. You have given me so many beautiful and blessed memories and the love that I was able to share with one of your most precious children, who was entrusted to my care for a while in his life and who will live forever in my heart. I love you and praise you with all my heart for giving me that blessed opportunity, that beautiful time in my life! Your love and care and understanding are beyond comprehension.

I pray for every boylover everywhere. Please give them the courage to continue to share their lives with the young friends you have given them and bless that friendship with every unique quality that will make it so special and make it last a lifetime.

Though some of us may face trials from a society which does not understand us, please shelter our young friends from that hardship and help us to get through it with dignity and grace, bearing Holy witness of your great love for all mankind. Also help us to forgive those who, being blinded by lack of understanding, wish us harm.

In Jesus' sweet and Holy Name I pray this, amen!

"He called a little child and had him stand among them."
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."

--Matt. 18:2,5

Chris Chambers-King works as a night manager at a grocery store, is an avid guitarist, and participates regularly at Christian Boylove Forum.



© 2002 Paraklesis

Email:  paraklesis@cblf.org