By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director, John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Mark Ellis lives in Derbyshire, England. He and his wife were expecting their first child.
Just before his wife delivered, Mark suffered a debilitating stroke. It left him immobile and unable to speak. It was a bittersweet thing for his wife to celebrate the birth of a new daughter Lola-Rose, but also to walk through this tragedy with her husband.
An amazing thing happened. Mark would peer into the bed of his little daughter. One day she smiled. Mark tried to copy her and tried to smile. Rose started to cry and Mark made a crying sound. When Rose started babbling, Mark would babble back to her. She was teaching and leading him.
Sometime later, when Rose was on the floor and wanted to go from one point to another she started to crawl. They put Mark on the floor and he tried to copy his daughter. He was able to make a few movements. Later Rose was ready for her first step. Mark watched her take it. They put Mark on his walker, and he was able to take a step.
Rose taught Mark how to communicate, move about, and grow in life. Mark’s wife says it has been a tremendous thing to watch him emulate his daughter and make progress in overcoming his physical condition.
Isaiah wrote, “and a Child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) Jesus said, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
I remember reading about a family who went out to eat in a restaurant. A little four-year-old volunteered to say the blessing. He started praying, and his voice was loud enough that everybody sitting near them heard him pray, “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. And I would be more thankful if you gave me some ice cream at the end of the meal. And liberty and justice for all. Amen”
One older lady was appalled at such a blessing and spoke to the people at her table in a voice loud enough that others could hear. “That is so disrespectful. God is not interested in ice cream.”
The little four-year-old started to cry. He asked his dad if God was mad at him. The father was beginning to assure him that God was not mad at him. An elderly gentleman walked up and put his arm around the little boy. He said, “Son, thank you for saying that prayer. That is the first prayer I have heard in a restaurant in several years and I happen to know that God likes ice cream and likes to give it to His children because ice cream is good for the soul.”
At the end of the meal the father ordered ice cream for the little boy. When it was placed in front of him he did something that people would never forget. He taught them a lesson. He took the ice cream and went over to the table where the critical lady was sitting and placed the bowl of ice cream in front of her and said, “I would love to share my ice cream with you. Ice cream is good for the soul, and my soul is really good right now.”
Observe children. They can lead us to learn a lot of lessons of life.
John Ed's blog posts appear every Thursday in For His Glory
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