A long time ago…on a bench far far away…

The grating of plastic wheels against concrete went unnoticed rotation after rotation as the senses were always more attuned to the sound of rubber soles scraping concrete (but only slightly).  One rubber soled foot scraping after another propelled the boy forward as the four-wheeled frame the that surrounded him kept pace.  As the mid-afternoon sun reflected off the metal exoskeleton, his mind was far far away…thinking of twin suns and epic dogfights in space as the music of Star Wars raced in his mind.  Still keeping an eye on his surroundings, another sound arrests his thoughts causing the music to fade into the recesses of his mind.  Looking around, he notices a little girl sitting alone on a park bench.  Walking towards her, his suspicions are confirmed:  someone WAS crying, and this little girl seemed the source.  Scraping and grating to a halt, the boy stopped to see what the problem might be.  Sitting down beside her, he offered whatever words of comfort and wisdom he could in hopes of getting her to stop her tears and go back into the school building.  Somehow, it worked and the crisis was averted.  Back within the walking confines of his wheeled exo-skeleton and epic notes reemerging from the recesses of his mind, he continued on…dreaming of what it might be like to save the galaxy…

Often times little thought is given to the impact of things that we do that seem small and inconsequential in the greater and grander scheme of things going on around us.  One stops and offers an encouraging word to another stopped at a street corner crosswalk as the time to cross ticks down and expires.  A student stops to help another pick up a spilled backpack of books after a faceplant caused by a “popular” (yet ultimately insecure) student sends her crashing to the hallway floor, all the while risking being late for class.  A handicapped boy stops to comfort a little girl in the midst of her fear and uncertainty while everyone else takes little or no notice.  All of these things are “interruptions” – deviations from what is intend, but as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together:  “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God”

The above story is something that happened to me 17 years ago. I’d long forgotten it ever even happened and even now can barely recall it.  It wasn’t until my brother recounted the story recently that the incident re-entered my life at all.  As it happens, my brother is friends with the young girl in the story and she recently told him the tale.  What seemed so small a thing, still has impact and meaning more than a decade and a half later; this amazes me.

Some would call this a “lolipop moment“, I call it “making the world small“.  It wouldn’t be till many years later that I would begin to understand what the idea of “being present” actually means, never realizing I’d been given successful opportunities to practice it long before I understood it (and regular opportunities once I did understand).  In those brief moments before I began to resume dreaming of what it would be like to save the galaxy, I was saving someone’s world and didn’t even realize it.  When life gets difficult and challenging – and it often does – it is something worthwhile to ponder, that in the midst of such circumstances there is still purpose; still things to do, lives to touch, and interruptions to embrace because you don’t know what that “interruption” might mean to someone else who faces similar challenges and needs to encounter someone in the midst of theirs.

Do you allow your life to be interrupted?  Whose world will you save today?



Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

2 Responses to A long time ago…on a bench far far away…

  1. Pingback: Sometimes cheerleaders are the best heroes... - Aaron Welty | Aaron Welty

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