Saturday, March 28, 2015

The beggar

M ran to the very edge of the soccer field and whisper-shouted urgently: "I saw an armless, blind beggar last night on the way back to the hospital."  

I was still trying to figure out where this was coming from when he turned and ran back toward his position, calling over his shoulder: "I didn't make fun of him, I had compassion!"

He tries so hard.  He is not the most well-behaved child I know.  He is struck by silly whims and has the immature sense of humor of, well... a six year old boy.  He is the type of child who bursts into a room, talking too loudly.  He shouts out answers excitedly and then claps his hand over his mouth with an audible gasp when he realizes what he's done.  He's the one who plops down on the learning carpet with a crash and doesn't realize he is sitting on someone's hand.  He's always, always, always bothering someone unintentionally. 

But he is so kindhearted.  He wracks his brain for ways to serve: offering to carry his brother's backpack, bringing us drinks of water, or putting away a classmate's mat if they are out of the room for special services. 

"Hope you have a good day teaching!" "Hope you have a nice time driving a taxi! "Hope you have a good day taking care of patients!"  He scrambles to think of well-wishes for everyone he meets.

His mouth contorts as he tries not to smile, tries to be humble when he's praised for his thoughtfulness.  How can he be so good and so much trouble at the same time?

Last night, the lights were out in the hospital room, and we had all found a place to sleep for the night.  Suddenly, I felt like I was being watched and opened my eyes to see him leaning over me, studying my face.

"What are you doing!?" I hissed.  "You're supposed to be asleep!"

"Sorry! I just wanted to make sure the armless beggar wasn't haunting your dreams."

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