How to Be Humbled by Ice Cream

“If I have to feed you your ice cream, how’m I gonna eat mine?”

I’m sitting in a McDonald’s somewhere in Ohio (not my first choice of location, just to be clear). My parents are picking up a car here, and I will drive the other one home. 

A few minutes ago, a woman walked in pushing a girl in a wheelchair; another wheelchair-bound girl followed behind. The girls are clearly physically disabled, but also have severe mental difficulties.

She gets them in and they sit by the windows while she buys the ice cream. “No screaming,” she instructs after one of the girls bursts out in what I can only assume is joy. “No ice cream if you’re gonna scream.” 

Observing these sweet people is always humbling for me. First, because God has given me an abundant life, complete with full thinking and moving capacities and I take this grace for granted way too often. Second, because I know the love and devotion of their TSS worker stretches way beyond what I could ever have for those girls. Her patience far exceeds mine in any given seven-day period with my own family. 

She sits with the girls, talking with them like there’s not a thing wrong. A bite for the girls, a bite for herself. She leans over and one of the girls kisses her on the forehead. They talk about school, weekend plans, and how much they like ice cream. Sounds like a pretty normal conversation to me. 

The woman doesn’t look fancy, successful, or prestigious. She wears grey sweatpants and a t-shirt, probably ideal for the physical maneuvering she must do each day. I’m sure her paycheck does not by any means appropriately reflect the amount of work she does to get it. But I’m guessing that kiss on her forehead from a few minutes ago probably compensates the missing digits, at least in her mind.

Yes, I am humbled. 

The ice cream is finished, and they start to pack up. They will be gone in a few minutes, unaware of the joy they’ve fed my soul. 

What is something in your life that you take for granted? Stop and thank God for it today!

2 thoughts on “How to Be Humbled by Ice Cream

Add yours

  1. Em, now you understand my husband and my love for the Make A Wish Foundation. The 300 miles in 3 days is nothing compared to what these kids go through and their parents as well. Loved your story ❤

  2. Joy usually comes from the most simple sources. A small grandson who calls me to sing Happy Birthday, an elderly Mom whose eyes sparkle when I come to see her, a faithful husband who calls every day on his way home from work to see if I need anything from the grocery. Thanks for this post Em!

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