Last week I took my children to a restaurant for dinner, a rare treat since my husband deployed to Afghanistan last fall.
As our food was placed on the table, my six-year-old son, Aidan, asked if he could say grace. As we clasped hands and bowed our heads he said in a loud (not-so-suited for indoors voice), “God is great. God is good. Lord we thank you for the food, and I would thank you even more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. With liberty and justice for all! In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Along with the chuckles of laughter from the waitress and other customers nearby, I overheard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!”
Hearing the woman’s harsh remarks, my son’s eyes welled up with tears and he asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?”
As I slid into the booth next to him, I held him close and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him. As he wiped his eyes, an elderly gentleman approached our table with a twinkle in his eyes. He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” my son asked.
“Cross my heart.” the man replied.
Then he leaned in toward my son and in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. As my 4-year-old grabbed his spoon and began to shovel heaps of ice cream into his mouth, Aidan just stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember for the rest of my life.
He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, ”Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and since my Mommy says my soul is already good, you can have mine.”
Stifling laughter and beaming with pride, I hugged my oldest son when he returned to our table.
And do you want to know the best part? She ate it!!!
She also smiled softly at my sweet boy on her way out the door.
Monday Morning Perspective
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even my six-year-old understands that kindness can cure most things. He proved it with a dish of ice cream.
What bad feelings or misunderstanding could you kill with kindness today? Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” goes a long, long way. And if it doesn’t, then perhaps you could try ice cream.
Have a wonderful week!
Crystal D. Allbritton
© Crystal D. Allbritton 2013. All rights reserved.