He takes walks with his parents daily for exercise and fresh air.
Beck, at eighteen months, sees this as an opportunity to greet people.
This Denver grand of mine is one of the kindest, most engaging young people I know. When he’s at the park with his parents, he waves at every car that passes.
Every car. Every person.
People are delighted with his smiles and waves, and the majority wave back.
He keeps waving until they do. He’s a little ambassador of kindness in a time when closeness escapes us and intimacy is something we used to have.
This isn’t behavior that would have been expected. The first year of his life was filled with doctors’ appointments, tests, and procedures because he wasn’t growing as quickly as they thought he should.
He tolerated the inconvenience, the pain, the miserable-tasting stuff he had to take. He was poked, prodded, and peered at more in that first year than most kids are in their first five years.
He took it like a little man.
If that had been me, I’d have developed an attitude. Keep bothering me like that and folks would have felt my displeasure through words or actions. Or both.
Beck has remained calm and kind. Even now, when he’s not feeling well or is running a temperature, he still waves to his mom and blows kisses as she leaves.
He enjoys people.
His attitude causes people to enjoy him.
On my early morning walks, I pass the same people every day. The young woman on a bike with her headphones always smiles and waves at me. The older gentleman listening to music on his phone has a delightful grin and does a hand raise every morning. The couple with the two dogs who always make me laugh because they wag their whole bodies in greeting as we pass and greet each other.
A community of kindness, acknowledging one another and valuing each other with a few words of affirmation.
There are those who never smile or wave. I see one young man every day who always seems sad. I wave and call a cheery, “Good morning,” and he’s never responded. He may very well be hurting, so I continue to smile and say hi.
Someone sees him.
We all need that reminder that our presence matters. That being here another day is significant because we are each significant in our own right.
At a time when it’s easy to feel overlooked or just one of a group on a zoom call, I’m reminded of how God sees us, individually, where we are in the midst of our needs and mess. In the Old Testament, Hagar, who was rejected by her master Abraham’s wife for being able to have a baby when Sarah couldn’t, was prepared to die when she was confronted by El Roi, the God who sees. Even in her rejection from this world, God saw her and cared for her.
Many feel invisible right now.
We are seen and known by God, no matter how messy, shattered, or disrupted we are.
Look for Him and wave.
He’s right there to meet your heart needs.
He waits for us. With a smile.