Submitted by Sandy Ludwig

Image Credit: Meghan E White

Mary was walking down the street with her three-year-old son, Peter. Now Peter was a happy, delightful, charming little guy who tended to smile at the world, as well as at every person he met whether he knew him or not. Mary basked in Peter’s cheerful personality and enjoyed taking walks with him around town.

One day they were in downtown New Braunfels, just strolling and sightseeing, when they came to a red light and stopped at the curb. Across the street from them was a hobo-like guy dressed in layers of clothes, with a straggly beard and a sorrowful downcast look. Mary kept a wary eye on him as they started across the street. When they were abreast of him, Peter looked up and smiled his sweet smile at the man.

“Hi!” Peter greeted him.

The man stopped in the middle of the street and stared down at the boy and seemed to come out of his moodiness for a moment. Then, to Mary’s surprise, the man smiled back at Peter.

“Why, hello, little feller,” he said and reached out his hand to shake Peter’s. Peter happily obliged.

As they went on their separate ways, Mary noticed that the man no longer walked with a droop to his shoulders and when he reached the other curb, he turned and waved to them both.

“Thank you!” he called to them. “God bless you!”

Marveling at the transformation in the man because one child greeted him without judgment or condemnation, Mary felt ashamed of herself. Looking down at her extraordinary son, she gave his hand a squeeze and told him she loved him. Then she thanked God for showing her how simple it was to show God’s love to others.