Working at Open Door Mission, I deal with a number of folks through the course of any given day. My job like so many others around here is about laughing one minute and dealing with full blown crisis the next. My days are filled with hope and faith, as well as business and strategy as I use the gifts God has given me along with my education and 25 years of business experience to help pave a path toward success for anyone daring to search for it.
I think I’m good at what I do, but I like so many others can be humbled, and taught in an instant by the children around me. A few weeks ago I was in my office in the Permanent Supportive Housing building (the PSH) and I was greeted by several children. Now these kids know me, and we do our best to communicate. I have told them on several occasions that I don’t speak toddler but they speak it well enough for all of us and they will not be deterred in their effort to get their points across. So I made an offhand comment to Nate that his shoes were the wrong color. His facial expression turned to one of serious dismay. Not sadness mind you, he just has the look of someone who is about to set the record straight!
I continued though and I told Nate that his sister had the right colored shoes as she was in pink from head to toe and her shoes were a perfect match. I looked at Nate and told him that he was dressed all in blue right down to a blue blanket he was carrying, but his shoes were brown, and clearly wrong. I told him that they were wrong and should have been blue. Picture a toddler with a furrowed brow looking more serious than most little guys ever considered being. Nate told me in no uncertain terms that his shoes were not wrong! I took another shot at it and asked him if his shoes are right, why they were brown instead of blue. OK now maybe it’s a bit childish of me to try to one up a 4 year old, but we all have our moments. Well, it turns out this was Nate’s moment, and he looked at me and answered my question putting his hands in the air and shrugging his shoulders. He said “Scot, this is the way God made shoes”!
I was having some fun with him, but Nate didn’t have to think about his answer. With all the faith and innocence one might expect, the little guy ran home to God. It’s a cute story but I think about that little interaction all the time now, and I pray for that kind of faith. I don’t have to have all the answers, I just have to be like my little friend Nate, and be able to trust that God does. It’s a lesson worth learning, and my teacher in this case was not some snooty professor, but a little guy who simply trusts that things are what they are because God made it so.
It’s an honor and a pleasure every day to be even a small part of the ministry here at Open Door Mission. My hope and my prayer is that with teachers like Nate I too can learn to run home to God without a second thought.