80 degrees is my favorite temperature. If the sun is bright and the breeze is crisp, I choose 80. Don’t tell me that’s hot—I’m from Florida and I live in Texas.
Yesterday I opened the front door to let 80 in. I opened the back door, too, and 80 ran through the house like my girls run from room to room, filling every square foot with its balmy goodness.
I blasted my Grooveshark mix from decent speakers and washed dishes and sang and offered input on London’s most recent art project. A perfect day.
Until it got better.
Appearing almost out of nothing, he stood on the threshold and I saw him.
He didn’t knock—the door was open—and he didn’t say a word. He waited, a little latte-colored boy in shorts and sneakers and white athletic socks, in my doorway; he waited to be noticed, closed-mouth smiling.
Julio is our neighbor. He’s three and lives two houses down and is something of a friendly wanderer. I smiled to see him and to watch as my girls grabbed him by the arm and barked directions: “You’re the brother.” “You stand here.” “Now say this.”
They played inside and outside, and hardly ever argued and I thought how good it is for my girls to love their neighbor.
After a while, Julio came to me in the kitchen and asked in his small voice for something to eat. Because he was hungry and because he hadn’t had anything to eat today, could he have something to eat?
I fell all over myself looking for food as I thought about Jesus and that thing he says about a cup of water for the least of these. I found oranges, cold Cuties from the fridge bottom drawer, and I asked, “Do you like oranges?” To which he responded, “oranges are almost my favorite thing.” So I gave him two.
He left just as quickly as he came, riding his training wheeled bike down the sidewalk past the house between us.
As I look back at that moment, at the chance I had to feed that beautiful boy, I am struck by the holiness of it.
I peeled an orange as he held out his small tan hands, and I knew, even as I separated skin from flesh with my thumb, that I waited on the Lord.