Our granddaughter Anna comes from a long line of short women. For at least five generations the women on my wife’s side of the family have hovered around the 5-foot mark, give or take an inch or two. It is no surprise then that Anna is petite. I believe that Anna may be shortest second grader in her school. But she has a big personality, a huge smile, a brilliant mind, and a heart full of love – all rolled up into a tiny exquisite package! She is so much like her Nana (my beautiful wife) that at times it is frightening.
Short and sweet can grow tiresome when the rest of the world (or classroom) is tall. My wife has reaching sticks and step stools and similar aids but I’ve heard her say many times that it would be nice just to be “tall enough”. Tall enough to reach the top shelf in the grocery store. Tall enough to buy pants that don’t need to be tailored. Tall enough to do some things without help from the Tall Ones.
Anna cannot reach the coat hook in her classroom. Each day she needs help getting her coat hung. There is a boy in her class who waits patiently EVERY DAY for her to arrive (which of course takes her a little longer because short legs can’t move as fast as long ones) and he hangs her coat. His cubby is next to hers because of alphabetical happenstance. He’s a rough and tumble boy who loves sports and playing outdoors and just being a regular boy. But because of good parenting or good manners or maybe just because he’s a good boy, he helps Anna.
The kindness that this boy extends to “the one who can’t reach” is sublime. His thoughtfulness is a testament to the innate goodness of others. And I suspect that he doesn’t realize the importance of his simple act of waiting and hanging up Anna’s coat each day. What these two second graders may never know is that they are a gift to one another – she affording him an opportunity to be kind and he showing her how kindness can transform our lives. These two would be embarrassed if someone pointed out their need for one another; their interdependency. I’m glad Anna can’t reach her coat hook and I’m even happier to know that there is someone to help her.
Kindness can be a simple act with a powerful effect.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”