A few weeks ago my husband Moses and I were driving home with our infant son, Sam. The day had gotten away from us, and it was nearing his bedtime. We decided to stop at our favorite taco place and grab take-out, but we knew we would have to act quickly. Sam was like a ticking time bomb, he seemed calm but could go off at any minute. We were nearing the trifecta meltdown stage of hungry, tired, and cooped up.
To avoid a meltdown, Moses ran into the tiny taco joint to grab food while I stayed in the car with Sam. As I waited I saw a brother from church, Michael, standing on the corner. I greeted him from a distance and felt we should invite him to dinner with us. Michael lives on the streets and had all of his things with him, so there would be no way to load all that up and take him to our house. We would need to stay and eat at the restaurant. In a matter of seconds I assessed the situation: How many people are in the restaurant to disturb when the baby breaks down? Rearview mirror checked on the babe- he was still playing quietly. I figured we had about 10 minutes of happy left. I unbuckled him from the carseat and went into the restaurant, signaling for Moses to ask Michael to join us.
As we sat down, Sam looked over at Michael and lit up. Moses served us food as we greeted and talked about our days. Michael shared about a project he was working on. And Sam, Sam sat on my lap cooing and chatting away. He smiled. He giggled. He was delighted with Michael’s jokes and responses. It was as if Sam knew that we had switched gears, and dinner was now about loving Michael.
I sat in awe of my son dishing out grace around the table. Instead of fussing and breaking down, Sam delighted in our friend. Instead of me worrying and jostling, I was free to listen to our friend. Instead of hurrying, my husband enjoyed his favorite tacos and reconnecting. Instead of eating alone, Michael had a family to enjoy. Sara Groves says that grace is an invitation to be beautiful. That is what Sam gave us that night. He led us in joy and it was beautiful.