Easter Countdown #3 – One special Easter basket
There are times that I look at my children and think how incredibly lucky I am to have them as a part of my life. At times, the life lessons learned from them is greater than anything I have learned from anyone else. The Easter of 2008 is one such time.
Many people know of this incredible date, March 19, 2008, because of the cardinal that appeared when we, more specifically Sawyer, needed him more than anything. This story made it around the world because it was shared over and over by our friends. What most people don’t know is another smaller event that occurred on the same day.
A few days prior, Sawyer had been cleared to take a few steps with a walker. It had been one month since he had been able to be on his feet, and that small step of independence seemed liked a key to freedom. Unfortunately, one missed step happened and Sawyer slipped, fell, and broke the heads off of two of the screws holding his leg together. Another trip to the emergency room and that is where the smaller event took place.
The E.R. nurse, we later discovered, was the sister of the man who was also involved in the bus crash. Our school bus fell on top of his pick-up. We knew he, too, had been hurt very badly. Sawyer took the time, despite excruciating pain to inquire as to how the gentleman was doing. The report was not good. He was feeling very low – wishing he could have done more to help.
That was all it took. The seed was planted. For days, Sawyer begged to go to the store to get something without ever really telling us what it was he desired so intently. Because it was winter in Minnesota and not very easy to maneuver in a wheelchair, we stalled. Eventually, his insistence won out, and off to the store, he and his dad went.
The thing he just had to have was puzzling to us. He bought a tiny Easter basket, added a few small token gifts, and later, personally added hand-written a note. Yes, he wanted to send a special message to the gentleman saying he didn’t blame him for anything that happened and that he wanted the man to know he was thinking of him and praying for him. Tears of amazement mixed with pride streamed down our faces.
If memory serves me correctly, he talked his Uncle Sheldon into delivering that basket with no expectation of anything in return. Rather simply, his desire was to do something nice when there was very little of anything else that he could do anywhere – at all.
Even though the gift was not meant to be reciprocated; we did learn that Sawyer’s new friend kept that basket right by his bed as long as he was at the care facility where he recuperated. It wasn’t allowed to be moved or removed. Learning that news helped Sawyer through many a dark night – knowing that he made a difference.
I still learn a lot from my kids, but I think this small act of love will be one of my most treasured Easter memories.
Take-away: How often do we stop in the midst of our own storms to do something kind for someone else? We are all capable of compassion, even when we are busy and overwhelmed. More often than not, it isn’t the grandiose gestures, but the small things that really seem to get the most notice. Jesus was BIG on small acts. If we really think about it, other than believing in Him, there wasn’t anything he expected in return. He loved and continues to love us with abandon. The hands that were nailed to the cross also hold our names written across them. Couldn’t we all be his hands and feet by doing acts of love even in small ways? I truly believe that we can.