One small step for man

Nah, I’m not rehashing the moon thingy, cool though it was (but by no means perfect).

Small steps can be life changing. Or at least make a day better.

We had snow in Sioux Falls the other night. It was deep but fluffy, easy to shovel. But shoveling doesn’t get every last flake of snow off of concrete, and what’s left becomes spots and patches of clear ice as the overnight temperature falls. Morning brings the risk of a nasty fall.

Sure, I spread ice melt crystals around, but I never get 100% coverage. Besides, our autistic kid is not going to look down and carefully pick his steps on the path I’ve set.

IMG_20131107_074901_051So I helped Joey slip into his coat and backpack when his paratransit ride arrived. I held his arm down the front porch steps but then, as is is custom, he bolted and skipped toward the bus.

The air went out of me as I watched.

Then the door of the bus opened, and the driver stepped down into our driveway. Just a few steps, but she met Joey and took him by the arm the rest of the way into the bus.

It meant the world to me. They were just a few steps but they reflected an ocean of awareness and compassion that the driver had for her passengers – in this case, for our son.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of South Africa, was first drawn to the church when, as a child, he saw a clergyman do something unexpected in that time of racial separation. The privileged White man stepped courteously off of the sidewalk and into a muddy street, and tipped his hat as Tutu’s mother passed by.

A small step that changed a life course, which in turn changed a nation and impacted the wider world.

Care givers make many small steps each day. We cease to notice them because they are born of necessity. But we notice the small steps others choose to take for those in our care, and these warm our hearts. We give thanks for them – and for you who take them.

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