I’m not sure of the circumstances that led to his present condition, and frankly it doesn’t matter. What did matter was that this large gentleman, this double amputee, needed help – and fast. He was being pushed by his wafer thin companion, and it was obvious that the combination of gravity and Seattle’s hills would halt their progress in short order.
What happened next was a picture of the life that God summons each of us to.
A Father, who had been in our group of parents and youth feeding the homeless, saw the pair struggling and went to help. He got behind the wheelchair and started to push. At the very same time his son, who is 4 years old followed him and said “Daddy can I help?” Without waiting for an answer, he put his small hands, on his fathers large back and “helped” him push the wheelchair.
The scene brought tears to eyes in the group, and capped a magical time of service. Every time we make ourselves available to be extensions of Gods kingdom amazing things happen. (The happening’s are mostly very ‘ordinary’, and easily missed because of the false notion that kingdom movements are announced with fireworks and press coverage.) Everyone who was looking at the boy ‘helping’ his father knew that wheelchair was not progressing because of the child’s strength. Passers by smiled not at the boy’s muscle power but at the largeness of his heart, and the nobility of his intentions. Without the father all the boy’s efforts would have been in vain.
As the group debriefed outside Pioneer Square Station, we reflected on the truth that handing out 120 sandwiches with water and granola is not going to solve the problem of homeless or hunger in Seattle. Ours was not a mission of deliverance, but a liturgy of benediction on all those sons and daughters of Adam imaged by God. We act in the present, as we believe we will live in the future. The ultimate deliverance is not by us the children, but by our heavenly father, who has unabashedly adopted the CEO and the AA attendee into his divine family.