Liam and the Homeless Man
About a year ago now my two grandsons were visiting us here in Arizona from their home in the Netherlands. Their dad, my son-in-law, Erik and I took them to a D-backs game. Although they were only seven and five, and had never been at a major league baseball game before, they were entranced. They focused their attention on o what was going on down on the field, which is pretty tough at a baseball game, where there is 17 and ½ minutes actual action in a three hour game! They left that game being passionate D-backs fans, and for Christmas I gave them each Justin Upton bobble-head dolls. (That was before the big trade!)
As we left Chase field it was raining. Not hard, but it was still raining and the drops were cold. I was in a hurry to get off the street and back to our car in a parking garage. I was in the lead holding my five-year old grandson, Jayden’s hand, and Erik and eight year old Liam were behind us. Jayden and I rushed down Washington Street heading toward our parking garage.
When we got to the parking garage we waited at the car for Erik and Liam. They weren’t far behind us. I knew that. But they didn’t come. For a couple of minutes they didn’t come. And then five minutes later they arrived. And I learned why they were delayed.
As we walked back to the car there was a homeless man on the sidewalk asking for money. I hardly noticed him. I was in a hurry to get out of the rain and back to the car. But when Liam got there he asked his dad if they could stop and give the man some money. He told his dad that they had plenty of money and they should share what they had with this man.
The story of the Good Samaritan flashed in my mind. How all the passers-by, including a priest, ignored the man on the side of the road. An eight year old showed more compassion than his ordained grandfather.
And one other verse comes to me as I write about this story for the first time, a verse which was part New Testament reading this past week: “Unless you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:17)”.