Are you blind or can you see? Tell me if you cry..

@raydene (9875)
United States
December 5, 2007 6:51pm CST
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 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?' 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. If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are. This one is a keeper. 'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for whom people think you are......' I had a tear or two did you?
4 people like this
13 responses
@wolfie34 (26816)
• United Kingdom
6 Dec 07
What a truely wonderful, story, there are so many morals in that story and I think even the hardest heart would of melt. I actually started wondering if this was from out of a film, you know one of those Christmas stories where Jesus is sent down in present day as a tramp to meet his father's people and just like the original film where Jesus is outcasted and persecuted and then finally well we all know the ending! Erik will definitely be blessed for the rest of his life, and thank you my dear friend, that took away my own troubles reading that, I challenge anyone who reads this NOT to find a message in there. Hugs xxx
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
6 Dec 07
As I read this I won't even tell you what I was thinking you should have said to this slob. But yes it gave me a tear or two.
1 person likes this
@finlander60 (1775)
• United States
6 Dec 07
Thank you Raydene. It has been said that you cannot fool children or animals, they will see right through your shell. Sometimes it takes a little jolt to teach us what is really important. Consider yourself taught. I will consider myself taught by your willingness to share what could have been very embarrassing for you.
@mummymo (23709)
29 Jan 08
I definitely did Mom - it really was a touching and effective post! I know we are all a little bit blind sometimes but I do try to ensure that I have my eyes and my heart open and not judging others by appearances! Thanks for the reminder,l love xxxx
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
7 Dec 07
Well I have read this before and yes I cried and I enjoyed reading it again and had a tear Love you Sweet xxxxxxxxxx
@Kowgirl (3491)
• United States
6 Dec 07
"and a child shall lead the way" Need I say more?? Clothes nor money makes a person, It's what is in their heart that counts. Children do not see what we see , the outside, they see not only with their eyes but with their hearts as well. Yes it too brought a tear to my eyes because we have learn to judge way to much on what we see.
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
6 Dec 07
That was fantastic. Thank-you so much for sharing it. I try to to teach my kids all the time that it doesn't matter what you wear or what you own that is important. What matters is your character and how you act. I definetly had a tear or two or three.
6 Dec 07
Wow, that was pretty deep... I guess it takes children to show us how we should really act, whereas i personally would probably snatched the child in disgust your son smiled and giggled with the old man. However whether it being because you were scared to take the child back off him it would have made me feel incredibly sorry and sympathetic for the old man when he said ''You've given me my christmas present''.
6 Dec 07
Wow, that was pretty deep... I guess it takes children to show us how we should really act, whereas i personally would probably snatched the child in disgust your son smiled and giggled with the old man. However whether it being because you were scared to take the child back off him it would have made me feel incredibly sorry and sympathetic for the old man when he said ''You've given me my christmas present''.
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
6 Dec 07
This was a wonderful story to share with all of us, and it reenforced my way of thinking, it is wonderful to stop and look at things through a child's eyes, or your inner child, believe me there is an inner child in all of us, some of us just tend to ignore it. My s/o loves that about me, and since I moved to the northeast 2/1/2 years ago (he had lived here all his life) I have gotten excited over simple things like the first snow, the first time I saw a whole pond freeze over and kids ice skating there, I drove home and made him get in the car, told him I had to show him something, with all the excite of a child, and when I showed him, he couldn't help but smile and look at something in a different light, something he had seen thousands of times. So, take the time, learn from children, and just remember it isn't the material things we are able to own that make us who we are.
• United States
6 Dec 07
What a wonderful memory you will have in years to come. Something "special" happened to you this Christmas. We all need to be reminded from time to time that life is much more than what meets the eye. You wrote this story so beautifully and from your heart, and I hope you make a copy of it for your son, put it in a safe place, so he could read it when he grows up. He was blessed also at this precious moment in time. Yes, I got the chills reading this, and again, yes, the tears came rolling down my cheeks as this story touched my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this for all to read at this blessed time of the year.
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
6 Dec 07
I did not drop a tear because as I read, in my mind was the funny man. I was touched by the hugging scene but it ended too soon to create a stir in my heart. Nevertheless, I was touched and agree it has a good message. Thanks for sharing.
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
6 Dec 07
That story is so beautiful Raydene, and there is an important message in there for each and every one of us. We all tend to be judgemental at times, and it's an unfortunate human trait, but Jesus said that we should look through the eyes of a child; we should try it sometime, huh?