Good for the Soul

Dear Friends,

I thought I'd share a touching story I was reminded of recently to hopefully help you as you work through your day. It's about a mother who took her children out to a restaurant one day. Her six-year-old asked if he could say grace before the meal. They bowed their heads and he prayed, "God is great, God is good. Thank you for the food, and I would thank you even more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all! Amen.

Several of the customers nearby chuckled gently when they heard his prayer. They seemed delighted to hear such a young boy praying in public. One woman, however, took a different view. She said, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream. Why, I never."

Hearing this, her son burst into tears. He asked, "Did I do it wrong, Mom? Is God mad at me?" But his mother held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and that God certainly wasn't mad at him. Just then an elderly man approached their table. He tenderly looked at the six-year-old and said, "My boy, I happen to know that God loved your prayer." "Really?" the little boy asked. "Yes, indeed," he said. Then whispering loud enough so that everyone in the restaurant could just barely hear (especially the critical woman), he added, "I think God would be pleased if more people asked for ice cream. It's too bad that some people never ask for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

The mother thanked the dear gentleman for his kind words. And naturally, she ordered ice cream for dessert. When it came, for a moment, the little boy just stared thoughtfully at his bowl of ice cream. Then he did something his mother would always remember. He picked up his ice cream, walked over to the nearby table, and placed it in front of the critical woman. With a big and completely innocent smile, he said, "Here ma'am, this is for you. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes. And my soul is good already."

Such a simple little story, and yet it has the potential to teach us so much: gentleness, kindness, goodness, generosity. How is it with your soul today? What are you feeding your soul (and I don't mean just ice cream) to receive the blessing that awaits you, and then to share that blessing?

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane