I observed a modern day parable while standing in line at a store yesterday. In front of me was a family that consisted of a mom, a dad, and a boy of about age 7. Standing behind me were a young boy and a woman I assumed to be his mother. With the sale taking place at the head of the line I had the opportunity to observe with pleasure both young boys and their parents.
The boy ahead tried on some sunglasses that were strategically placed to tempt the hands of grown-ups but could not have been better set for eye level had they measured from the center of this lad’s eyes to the counter top setting! Naturally he put a pair on, made a cute little face for his dad to see and then carefully placed them back in the bow-hold holes of the display rack. From time to time he glanced back towards me and had even more interest in what was happening with the boy and his mother who stood behind me.
The boy behind me, probably about 8 years of age, had a children’s Bible in his hands and as I looked back, he held it up towards his mom to show her what appeared to be a sticky tab on the binding. She bent down to look more closely then explained, “It looks like someone cut it when they were opening the box.” She had already spoken with him about going to the Christian store afterwards so she said, “Why don’t we leave this one here and get one for you at the Christian store instead? This binding is likely to fall apart.” They bent their heads together as they both fingered the binding more carefully as though trying to prove or disprove each to self and the other the truth of that statement. He said, “But I want this one. I looked so very hard to find this one.” She said, “We can probably find one like that there.” I turned away as he stood heavily first on one foot then the other while looking at her with pleading eyes but I knew he probably was continuing to vacillate between wanting to argue yet realizing she was being most reasonable.
By this time my turn at the checkout had arrived so I made my purchases and once finished I looked back and saw that the Bible had been set aside along with the high hopes of ownership by the young boy. I hoped I could be an encouragement to both his mom and him so I commended him for his good attitude in listening to his mom about it and assured him that I knew she would help him find a good one. She softly said, “Thank you,” and we smiled as I added that I understood that it was hard to wait, adding that it was something I was still learning.
As I walked away my heart sang praises for the lessons her little boy was learning in growing up with a mother who lives a Christ-like love. It was obvious this boy had learned that he could trust her word: she said they’d go to the Christian store later…he knew they would. He had learned to listen to reason…she explained what probably had happened and why the Bible would likely fall apart. He knew it was true. He had learned that some things are worth waiting for, even though he really wanted it now and had carefully chosen it. When he is a grown man what he will realize is that his mom taught him a lot about God even while they stood in a line at the store some days. That particular little Bible won’t seem so important then but the lessons that came from God’s Word will last a lifetime.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing those from whom you learned, and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 6-24-09
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