I found this story on FB and when I read it, tears welled in my eyes. Such sweetness. Such goodness. What a wonderful act of kindness to this mother and her child!
If you haven’t read it, please take a moment to do so. It’s traveling all over FB, but I want to share it anyway because, like the manager, I cannot understand what it’s like to raise a child with autism, but my husband and I have received the very same blessing as he gave, a couple of different times. We have also been given the same looks and heard the same whispers, but we have never been hastled by a manager over it. Fortunately. Both of these experiences are eye-openers. Our family of 10, yes 10 (2 adults, 8 children), for one random supper out on the town (family oriented of course), was blessed by a well-meaning and kind soul. He/she/they (we don’t know who), paid our bill and told the server who delivered that act of kindness from the stranger/s not to divulge his/her/their names/identity. They wanted to remain anonymous. And if you don’t know already, feeding a family of 10 in a restuarant is not cheap. The message delivered with that act of kindness was, “What a beautiful family you have. Your children behaved so well.” These moments, sometimes far and few between, remind me of the goodness that is God, the goodness that surrounds us, many times unrecognized. These acts of kindness are only a token of what God has promised us. It’s these random acts of kindness that come to mind when we encounter the rude comments, the soft whispers (as if we don’t know what they are saying?!?), and the glares from other patrons in different establishments, whether it be a restuarant, a grocery store, or walking through the mall. Remembering the kind acts from others in our wake make the rude/snide comments and otherwise unkind behaviors seem less powerful.
Another reason I wanted to make a post on the above article is because beings that our family is bigger than average, we often encounter praises and judgments from others. The praises are recognized and much appreciated and very well rememebered. For a short while, I began to let the judgements, looks, whispers, and snide/rude comments determine outings with my kids. I felt almost ashamed of the size of my family while in public (at home there was never any shame), but then slowly, my appreciation and the love I feel for my kids re-emerged, surpassing the shame. (**when i say my love for them, I don’t mean I stopped loving them because that’s absolutely NOT possible, I simply meant I let it be bigger, outshine anything anyone else had to say, think, assume, or judge).
And now, I look at my family in the light that God shines upon them with peace. I am in awe because they are the truest blessing from God and He entrusted them to me/ to us. Not those judgemental strangers. Not the kind folks that sing their praises to us about our children. Not our parents or friends or siblings, but US – My Husband and I.
And as the Bible says,
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. – Psalm 127: 3-5
And that is reason enough for me. Who else is there to impress, to prove anything, to strive for other than God?
Isn’t His judgement of us what matters most?
Yes! Yes it is.
For all the mothers and fathers out there with one kid, 3 kids, 10 kids, autistic or in any other way impaired, not impaired…no matter, if you have kids just remember this:
Each and every child, born and unborn, is a blessing from God. Each and every child is given for reasons that only God will ever know. Thank God for them every day and pray for anyone who has a judgement to throw at you.