Friday, February 29, 2008

A Babies Hug

A Baby's Hug

 

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat

Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and

talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi." He

pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes

were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless

grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a

man whose 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 sovaricose 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?"

Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi."

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 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 old 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

sidestep 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.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated

their love and kinship. 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, 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

and 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, lovingly and 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 all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter the

Kingdom of God, we must become as little children."



7 comments:

jimsulliv3 said...

A touching story, Julie. I'm sure that it did make the old man's day.

Jimmy

madcobug said...

I have seen this before but it was good to read it again. Helen

coelha said...

Aww...  Very sweet-and very true.  Thanks for sharing!  :)  Julie

kirkbyj05 said...

Well my friend you brought tears to my eyes with this lovely story.   I too had a rock in my throat when I got to the end.
Thanks for sharing it.

much love
Jeanie xxxx

ukgal36 said...

beautiful...
Lyn

motoxmom72 said...

Very beautiful........jesus through the eyes of a child......priceless........
Hugs,
Gina

lanurseprn said...

Wow...beautiful story!
Pam