By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
GROVE, OK (ANS – August 14, 2016) –“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”— Ephesians 2:10 (NIV).
His neon orange bathing trunks were easy to spot. I was glad. Otherwise, I would have had a difficult time keeping up with my almost 7-year-old grandson at a crowded outdoor swimming pool recently.
Sitting at poolside in a lounge chair reading, I could spot Cash anywhere within the confines of the chain link surrounding the water park area. Since he doesn’t live in this community, and was only visiting me for the week to attend VBS, he didn’t know any other children. However, he had made friends with two boys, cousins, who were also from another town and visiting relatives. During the hour and a half we were at the pool, I kept watch on Cash and his friends.
During a break from my reading, I noticed the three boys were visiting with two girls, both in wheelchairs. I sat, watching and waiting, until everyone was ordered out of the pool because of an approaching storm. Gathering up my things, I approached the boys, who were still conversing with the two handicapped girls. What I learned from the girls’ mother gladdened this grandmother’s heart.
She posted the following, along with a photo of the three boys and her daughters, on Facebook:
“So today we went to the pool. I try very hard to help my girls feel just like all kids. To be honest, it’s so hard somedays (most days). Just to get to the pool is a lot for them. My girls have great attitudes about most things, but sometimes, when they watch kids their age play, I see that wanting and that loneliness (in them) to play with other kids. Most time, kids warm up to them. Today was just one of those days when we met some wonderful kids. These boys came up to us and wanted to buy them a snack from the snack bar, which was very thoughtful. But the best part is when we got back in the pool, they played with Grace and Dee—just played like kids, splashing them and helping them. It was wonderful to just watch for a few hours. Spina Bifida wasn’t there. Just some kids making summer memories.”
I was further encouraged by the comments this mother’s post received on Facebook. Comments like “these boys’ parents have taught them well.”
We try to instill in our children and grandchildren the importance of loving and respecting others in spite of our differences. We’re not born disliking others who are different from us, whether it is race, religion or other defining characteristics.
Pastor Charles R. Swindoll says, “Prejudice is a learned trait. You’re not born prejudiced; you’re taught it.”
James 2:1 says, “My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.”
During these times when hatred spews from the mouths of our leaders, couldn’t we all learn a lesson from these children?
Photo captions: 1) Just some kids making summer memories. (Carol Round). 2) Carol Round.
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