Monday, December 20, 2010

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 sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' 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 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.'
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.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. 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, lovingly and 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. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

I got this in an e-mail today and wanted to share it. As far as i know the author is "unknown"


Larry, aka The Kid and The Old Goat said...


It is nice to see you post again. It's been a while (like look who's talking).

I am planning to begin posting to "Night Writing" again with the new year.

Let me wish you a great CHRISTmas. At least we can still say that word here.


Tamela's Place said...

hey Larry,

You and your family have a very Merry Christmas as well :)i'll check out your AKA the kid and the old goat..


thekingpin68 said...

I was not 'red'dy for what the blog looked like.

It is good. Kind of Christmas.

thekingpin68 said...

Kind of a cute story.

Connie Arnold said...

That really touched my heart and reduced me to tears, Tammy. Thank you for sharing this important reminder about not judging others and that God freely shared his Son with all of us. Blessings to you and your family, Tammy.

Tamela's Place said...

glad you liked the red russ.. kinda Christmasy i guess :)

Tamela's Place said...


It did the same to me, i thought now would be a good time to share such a story :)

Lori Laws said...

Hey Tammy!

So glad you're back! This email you shared made my eyes water too. We all need to be reminded of the innocence and purity of Christ's love. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I'm happy that I can add your link to my blogroll :)

Tamela's Place said...

Thank you Lori :)

LoCTY said...

Hi Tamela love the new look of your blog (I have been away for two years!)so good to see you are keeping it going again. Looks like you were also absent for awhile from posting. Life happens huh!
Just want to wish you and your family a blessed Christ mass.

Tamela's Place said...

hello Locty,

so good to hear from you. Yeah life happens and some things get placed on the back burner. I am going to try to start blogging again in hopes that i can keep it up.. You and your family have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and blessed New Year. I will be by to visit with you soon :)


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