As we arrived to “Play at the Park”, hoping that people would be there, we were all delighted to see the number of children in particular, that were there already. My husband was also already there, playing basketball with a couple of boys.
At the end of their time together, they asked Steve if they could have the basketballs.
“On one condition,” he said, “You have to come back to the park and play with them.”
They eagerly responded, “We will!”
We visited with the adults and played with the kids. Nothing revolutionary. Nothing that required any special skill set. Just a genuine care for others. A sincere desire to remind them that they are not forgotten. Many years ago, I read something that said, “Children spell love T-I-M-E.” I’ve learned that adults do too.
We had no ‘program’ or sales pitch. Just time.
We did have fruit cups, stuffed animals, dolls, bouncy balls and bubbles, magazines and candy for the kids. We also had note pads and pens. And though these kids took all that we would give them, they laid it aside to play with us or talk with us while we were there.
I am not sure that any of the people at the park were from the private area that had inspired us to be there. I will write more about them next time. I am sure, however, that God blessed our willingness to do something. He gave us favor with the people from that neighborhood and playing together was the healthiest thing of all. Taking a step back, it was just right, and went better than expected!
There were some middle school boys who were just about the last to leave. They wanted to know if we had more magazines or toys. We were completely out of magazines and most of the toys, but had some beanie babies and candy left. A bit apologetically we offered them a beanie baby. We all know how cool a middle schooler tries to be. To our surprise, however, they all wanted one and carefully chose from the ones that were left. They asked if they could have all the candy we had left. We made a deal, giving part of what we had left, but more than they ever expected.
The truth is, I think we all went home with more than we ever expected. We left with our hearts softened, our adrenaline pumping, our minds racing with plans and possibilities for future visits to this neighborhood and a unanimous eagerness to set the date for when we would return to this place for a picnic.
The date has been set: May 25. And we are looking forward to the possibilities!
Inspired To Do Something With You,