Megan’s birthday is today. Of course with Breathe this morning and VBS registration tonight there is not time to celebrate. So we went out last night (a romantic foursome – with Ivy blowing any candles that were lit!). At the end we found ourselves enjoying Baskin Robbins (in Megan’s tradition every good evening ends with ice cream), as a mom walked in with her three boys. They were around our girls’ ages, and it was a task to get everyone corralled. Of course, with Phoebe arms out pretending to be an airplane, we understood. The mom divided up ice cream and then helped the smallest (younger than Phoebe) into his chair – PLOP, her own cone crashed to the floor.
There are few things sadder in life than a grounded ice cream cone. Of course the store was packed, and no one noticed as she asked the boys to calm down. She slowly scooped up the ice cream and headed for the trash. I would guess Baskin Robbins would have replaced the cone for free – it is not as if they could not afford it. But she slumped back down with her boys, maybe a little embarrassed. Her look was one of hallow defeat we all know.
So we went to counter and bought her a new cone. Certainly not a big thing, but it was beautiful to watch Meg give her the cone. Then quickly slip back to our table.
In the grand scheme of life – what is a grounded ice cream cone? The mom would move on a little irritated at herself or her energized boys… but these defeats add up.
I wonder what life would be like if at every stumble there was an unknown friend to pick us up? If everyone was the compassionate stranger slipping in to help and then gone…
I imagine we would soar.
Not because we received, but that we gave to others. And in the process we found love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and they were given to us. Given by the One who makes Himself known by giving to those who do not deserve.