By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist
The following column about Lane, our youngest son and his young daughter, Kallie gets to the heart of Christmas. I use it here with the permission of both as the story was told to me. Needless to say, I am one proud “Mawmaw!”
It was Lane’s turn at church to serve communion to the elderly people who can’t make it to the church services. His youngest daughter, Kallie, went with him, clinging to her soccer beanie baby. She loved that doll more than anything!
They went to serve the first person on the list at a local nursing home. He was a kindly old gentleman named George. Lane had visited him before. George was pleasant and physically spry for his age. He seemed happy to have company. Kallie is good with the elderly. She immediately gave him a big hug (beanie baby and all). The smile on his face seemed to grow from the depths of his heart. There is nothing like the love of a little child to brighten anyone’s day.
Lane asked George if he had any family around, and he said no. He asked him how he had been doing, to which he replied, “not very well.” He went on to say that he just wasn’t having a good day. However, he had a great attitude about it and he knew that God was in control, but that we all have to accept the good with the bad. As Lane glanced over to his daughter, he could see the sympathy in her eyes. It was the kind of sympathy that only a child can have in their somewhat limited understanding of an adult world, but it’s a pure kind of sympathy that knows no age boundaries.
When the conversation had wound down and after they served him communion they started saying their good-byes, but as he did the last time Lane visited him, George got up and said he would walk them out. He said it was good for him to get up and walk from time to time.
When the three exited the building, he kept on walking through the courtyard with them, right to the gate out by the street. Lane shook his hand and thanked him for walking them to the car. George seemed grateful to have had visitors and thanked Lane and Kallie for coming.
Then it happened …. Kallie hugged George, told him goodbye and held up her beanie baby.
“You can have him.” Lane wanted to leap forward and say, “No…you don’t have to … ” but he was frozen in his tracks and didn’t move or say anything. George bent down and received the beanie baby from Kallie with a smile and gave her a big hug. Lane was stunned … what only took in actuality a few seconds is frozen forever in his mind. He could see the smile on George’s face and the look of compassion in Kallie’s eyes. Lane’s mind tried to comprehend what he had just witnessed. His eight-year-old daughter had just shown him Christ in action. Her love and compassion was a natural and immediate manifestation of love and obedience. What self-sacrifice! Lane could only hope and pray that he could be so loving and giving.
As they made their way to the car, Lane turned and looked back at George. His lasting memory, burned into his mind forever, was that of a bent-over little old man, who had just been touched by God through the heart of a little child.
Lane watched George shuffle back to his confinement, clutching the little smiley-faced beanie baby.
What a life-lesson that was. Lane’s vision was blurred from watery eyes as he told his daughter how much he loved her, how proud he was of her and how she had just made God smile!