Many have asked me how not going to church this past weekend went for me and my family. Well, for the record, this past Saturday and especially Sunday were a whirlwind that has given new levels of angst and reflection in my life. It was one for the ages so to speak. But more on that in another post.
Lost in these unfolding events was a moment that I will never forget with my 10 year-old son.
Because of scheduling with my son’s junior basketball schedule, it ended up being he and I alone for most of the morning. At lunch we went to Taco Bell and as were sitting there it hit me that this might be the only alone time he and I have on this day to talk about something of a spiritual nature.
So while sitting there I commented on the amount of food they had given me with my order. There was so much I just couldn’t eat it. You know the routine, you only just want two tacos, but the combo for three tacos and a drink makes it just a little cheaper. So you order more food then you can eat.
We were talking about this and I told him I wish we could give this food to someone that was hungry. We begin to talk about the homeless and I asked what he thought about them. He said they are scary but probably would be nice if he got to know them.
I asked what he thought homeless people should do. His answers were get a job, find a house or go live with their families. We begin to talk about those options and possibly some challenges the homeless have. He then said, “Maybe the homeless should go to church.” Then he paused and finished, “But the church probably wouldn’t want them to come there. Would they?” “Why not”, I asked. “Because they stink and act a little crazy”, he replied. That’s amazing insight from the mouth of babes.
So I asked what he thought Jesus would do. “He would make food and feed them. Help them not be crazy”, he said. I told him I had a good idea. Let’s take this extra taco and go find a homeless person and feed it to them. “Really”, he said, “A real homeless person?”
So off we went, in search of our homeless person. We drove for awhile and eventually there he stood on the side of the road with a sign that said, “Will work for food!”. “There’s one Dad,” my son said. “What do we do?” So I told him to roll down the window and put the bag out and give it to the man. As he did, I said to the man, “We wanted to share our lunch with you today. God bless you!”. He said thank you and we drove away.
My son was smiling from ear to ear. That wasn’t hard he said. Then added, “He kind of smelled but he didn’t act like he was crazy.” I asked him how helping the man made him feel and he said, “It really felt good to be able to let him know someone was wanting to help him.”
We drove on home. I know it wasn’t much but I thought it was certainly a lesson we wouldn’t have learned in church that morning. And it taught me that taking my children to church does not abdicate my responsibility to teach them spiritual lessons at home. For too long I have been missing this in our family life. I regret the time missed but will look forward to a future of more cherished moments.