A little boy ran through the store the other day, maybe 4 years old, blond-headed, sweet smile. He was there with his older brother, who seemed about 10, too cool to play in the toy section with him. I didn’t pay them much attention. They were being good, after all! Playing quietly and being respectful of the other shoppers. My kind of kids.
It wasn’t until they were leaving that I took notice. I work as a florist, and my flowers are right in the center of the store. Everyone passes through at one time or another. The boys were leaving, the younger one chasing after his sibling, waving a toy.
‘Jim,’ he says with a tiny lisp, ‘Look what I found. Stop. See what I have.’
I don’t know if his brother stopped to look or not. For some inexplicable reason my heart suddenly swelled with compassion and apprehension for this little boy. How many times would he call out for someone to notice him, and be ignored? How many days would he be lonely, before he found those close, dear friends? Would his childhood be happy? Would a bully choose him to pick on? Would an adult abuse his trust?
Dear God, my heart ached with hope for this boy and all the children just starting life in this wonderfully beautiful world. I want them to be safe and happy and keep them from the tiny stabs of cruelty people do to each other every day. Please God.