A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family was together at mealtime and ate together at the table.
But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and his failing sight made eating difficult. Peas often rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk would spill on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner of the kitchen. There! Now Grandfather ate alone in the corner while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinner at the table. And since Grandfather had broken a dish or two since coming to live with them; his food was served in a wooden salad bowl!
When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction during the meal, he eyes glistened over with tears but he never complained nor did he object, as he sat alone and ate his meal. Still, the only words the couple had
for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled some food on the floor!
The four-year-old grandson watched all of this in silence. But, one evening just before supper, the father noticed his son playing with some wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you doing with those wood scraps, son?”
Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little dinner bowl for you and Mommy to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled, then went back to work.
Those words struck the parents so much they were speechless. Then, when they understood the full impact of what their child had witnessed, tears welled up inside and they knew what had to be done, though no word was spoken.
That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilt, or the tablecloth soiled.
Lori, Acts 17:25
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