I went out to breakfast this morning with my family and another young man. This young man is headed back to his preacher college, and we have not seen him in several months. Brian is one of his mentors, and he has become like a big brother to our sons. We were only able to visit for a little while, but it was good. (He has told me I am like a Mama Bear to him. Yep!) Most of the conversations at the table were dominated by the two preachers. The boys were mostly busy eating their cowboy breakfasts and drinking their drinks. I know that our oldest son was more interested in listening to what the men had to say. I don't remember him speaking up, but I did watch him slowly eat as he watched the young man talk to his dad.
The men left the restaurant before the boys and I did. So that their daddy could have a quiet day off, I was taking them back to the office with me. As usual, several of my boys were not yet finished with their food. I (im)patiently waited for them to finish. As soon as the last one put the last bite in his mouth, I stood up to go. My youngest son was looking at the candy/toy machines that were near the table. A woman at the next table was calling out "Mom! Mom!" I did not realize, at first, that she was talking to me. She had a handful of quarters and wanted to treat each of my children to something in those vending machines!
I sent one of the boys to retrieve the quarters, and he doled them out equally. As the boys were discussing what they could get as individuals and what they could get if they combined their gifted coins, I had a little conversation with this generous couple. They had four grown children of their own, and they marveled at how well-behaved our children were in the restaurant. We had a conversation about sending our kids back to school, and how my children come with me to the church office everyday. They are blessed to have the gymnasium at the church to run around, and to have each other.
The boys finally figured out what they wanted and were overjoyed with their new treasures (gumballs and squishy toys). I even pitched in another quarter so that they could get their last treat. It was pretty awesome to witness the kids working together so that everyone would be happy. I don't think I heard any arguments, just discussions. They each just wanted the others to be happy with their choices too. These perfect strangers said they were happy to bless my kids. They were sympathetic to our children's upcoming academic year. They were concerned for all the school children this year. We thanked them for their gift, and went on our way.
What could I learn from this couple? What could I learn from my own children today? What could I glean from the pastors at the breakfast table?
What comes to mind (okay, and my biblegateway.com search) was Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
The couple demonstrated kindness towards us (seeing a mom of four young ones)
My kids demonstrated how to work for the good of all, fairly and just.
The preachers talked about how, even though they disagreed with some other preachers' teachings, they did not have to disrespect them. They would humbly turn to the Scriptures to respectfully challenge the distortions and fallacies.
May you spend your day listening, learning, and being kind to others!