Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Learning Experience

We had the wonderful privilege of accompanying my husband on a business trip to Nashville where we stayed at the luxurious Gaylord Opryland Hotel. We were able to get discounts on the eateries while we stayed there with my husband's convention pass. While enjoying a burger, we overlooked a beautiful waterfall. My daughter enjoyed more katchsup that burger, and after eating, she was covered in the red stuff. My son, who had been carrying around a pooh backpack with all the baby necessities, happily got a baby wipe out so I could clean up the baby. What I didn't know was that he proceeded to throw another baby wipe over the railing far out of reach from anyone.

First, I was irritated that he though it was funny that he had "wasted" a baby wipe. Those who know me know that I'm so frugal that the though of wasting just about anything drives me bonkers. Then I was irritated that he had littered AND he thought that was funny.

I decided on the spot that he was gonna have to find a manager type person, describe what he had done, and apologize. He looked scared at the prospect, and I was hoping that it was scare some since into him.

We searched EVERYWHERE for a manager and then after that ANYONE who he could talk to. Finally, we came across this little black man with a sever gimp arm. The man looked very sad & for lack of a better way to describe it, just plain retarded. I'm really not trying to be mean here, but you need to understand what he looked like to understand the story. I marched Andrew up to the man, and with the power only a momma on a mission has, I told him that I needed to teach my son a lesson and that my son needed to tell him something.

That black man went white as a ghost right there on the spot. I realized quickly that he'd probably been quite abused b/c of his retarded appearance. Oh well...I'd already started so I told my son to continue with his explanation. With a thick voice, my little boy told that man he threw the baby wipe over the rail and littered. Then my son apologized.

You would have thought he gave the man the biggest compliment in the world. That sad little black man smiled so big, and he looked at my son and said "ok." For a moment there, I thought he was going to tell my son it was alright - which would have made my "teaching experience" mute. But he said OK. Then he skipped off with a cheerful demeanor and that goofy smile still covering his face.

I got to thinking about it later, and I almost cried. I bet that sweet little injured man had been so badly made fun of in his lifetime by kids like my son or even adults like myself, that he felt honored that I would send my son to apologize to him and to respect him like no one had ever done before.

The day after all this went down, we ate lunch in the same location. The guy sought us out to come over and say hello. He had that goofy grin on his face, and it made me feel good to know that we had clearly not only made his day...quite possibly his week too :)

So my learning experience for my son ended up being a learning experience for me. I guess we should really treat others how we want to be treated - but even more, go out of our way to make others "feel" the love of Christ.

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