It is not too uncommon for our family to enjoy a wonderful morning at church, you know, learning to be more Christ-like, but the moment we get in the car the lessons to which we have just nodded our heads over in eager agreement go out the window in favor of the fruits of the flesh:
"Knock it off, boys!"
"You're going to watch HOW MUCH football today?"
"I said, stop touching your brother!"
Argue. Argue. Selfish. Selfish. Me-me-me-me-me.
Well, today Ryan and I lead a portion of our church's Family Sunday School class. Our job was to lead songs and teach the group Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. You can guess, then, what our ride home from church was like. Well, actually you can't because something very different happened.
On a route we do not usually take, we were stopped at an intersection where a man with a cane, on the opposite side of the intersection, was trying to cross in the crosswalk. He walked with the severe limp of a stroke victim. Head down, his dissheveled white beard and hair kept us from seeing his face. His signal turned to the solid red hand, and he was just barely half way across. The cars waiting to turn left were stuck because he was directly in front of them. The man, in his panic, was trying in vein to keep moving forward but the harder he tried, the less cooperative his legs were. Though he was moving his legs at a furious pace, he hardly moved an inch forward. Everyone at the intersection just watched from their cars as the man struggled.
No, not everyone. My husband jumped out, jogged across the intersection ("What is dad doing? Where is dad going?" the kids asked.). The family - the whole intersection - watched Ryan kindly, compassionately and patiently take this man's arm with great dignity. "Let me help you, sir," I imagine he must have said. The man, Garrett, immediately responded and began to take normal strides and complete his walk across the street. I just sat there with profound admiration. I was astounded at the act. It is an act well within his (or anyone's) capacity, but it astounded me none-the-less. I just sat there, so thankful to the Lord that our boys could see their father demonstrate such Christ-like behavior.
Today Ryan was a living example to the kids of how we are to clothe ourselves: with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Awesome. Truly awesome.