It was around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, when my son, Troy, and I entered the library. Immediately, the wonderful smell of musty old books caused a wave of memories to pass over me.
When I was a little girl, I used to walk to the library to check out books or attend the special programs offered there.
When I was in high school I went to the library for the resources needed for reports or research papers.
When I was in college, I studied best in the “stacks” of the library. I have spent many hours in libraries over the years.
On this day, we were there for one purpose—to get a library card for Troy so that he could get 5 extra points in English class. As I looked around, I was surprised at the changes that had occurred since my library days. The center of the room held table after table of computers. Every one of them was occupied.
We chatted with the librarian as we waited for the card, and we were surprised to hear a loud scream break the quiet atmosphere. A four-year-old little boy held tightly to a thin book, as his mother pried it from his hands.
“But I want to take it!” he screamed.
“I will get it for you tomorrow, “ she patiently said.
As they left, I thought what a good mom she was to bring him two days in a row to the library. “Do they come here a lot?” I asked the librarian who seemed to recognize the pair.
“Everyday,” she replied.
“Wow! Everyday?” I asked.
“Everyday, all day,” she said.
“All day?” I couldn’t believe it.
“Yes, the Salvation Army makes them leave at 7a.m. and they can return at 5 p.m.”
“They’re homeless?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes. Many of these people are homeless.” I shot a look around wondering which of the people surfing the Internet didn’t have a bed to sleep in at night.
In my perfect, little town?
When we got in the car, I paused for a moment before I started the engine. I looked at Troy and said, “Honey, your mama is ridiculous.” He gave me a look that said he didn’t understand, so I continued.
“I complain because I have to clean my house, but I have a house to clean. I complain because of the loads and loads of laundry I have to wash, but we have clothes to wash. I am ridiculous.” He nodded like he understood and like he shared my sentiments for himself, as well.
So, what am I to do?
How will I let this tiny glimpse into the window of another’s struggle change me?
I am not sure yet.
But I will change.
It would be ridiculous not to.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Today, ask the Lord how you can serve Him by serving others.