Opening a heart: a mission story that “just happened”

YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE YOUR HEART WILL LEAD . . . BUT IT WILL

The family looked pooped. They approached a Taco Bell, a mom, a dad (boyfriend, maybe?), a young boy. Inside, the youngster huddled in a hoodie, head down, not seeming interested in food or in anything.

Judy (my wife) had just been given several issues of a magazine from the San Diego Zoo by someone at church who collects such things for Judy, who’s retired from kindergarten teaching but still volunteers and does substitute teaching with the littlest kids.

“These may be better for kids just a bit older,” Judy told Sylvia. “Is it okay if I offer them to other Sonoma Mountain School teachers?” And of course that would be fine.

Those great animal photos never got to school.

The boy at Taco Bell was just too down to eat or do anything. But when mom and dad left him, head still cocooned and down, to use the rest rooms, Judy approached him. “These great zoo photos seems like you’d enjoy them more than the little kids I teach,” Judy said. “Would you like them?”

The boy came out of hiding with no urging, eyes lighting up. “They’re wonderful!”

Judy said the dad wasn’t really engaging the boy (which is why she figured he’s not the father)– but the mother was excited.

“We’ve been on the road for three weeks,” she exclaimed. “We can’t wait to get home. We don’t have anything for him to enjoy on a long bus trip. This is wonderful!”

We figure Sylvia will share Judy’s joy in having been at the right place at the right time with the right stuff. I figure not everyone in Santa Rosa would have spotted a mission opportunity, but Judy did. She often does.

So a heart was opened, and others cheered. Not a bad day for spring, which still doesn’t know it isn’t a soggy, dark, dreary winter. Things are looking up.

Bob Cramer.