Home - About Me - Salvation - Statement of Faith

Testimonies - Encouragement - Inspiration - Links


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 eating and talking. 
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi there." 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 his 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, hi there." 

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's. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated 
their love relationship. 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 unwillingly, 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."

Author Unknown


Previous story

Next story


Back to Encouragement Contents 5