When a Boy Cries So Do I

The Story Isn’t the Story

I trust there is a much bigger story than my own being told as I move through the day. Thus, I leave my house and go to the streets to love on folks even when the world around me announces tragedy after tragedy.

But I’m reminded of scripture, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:20, 33).

So, tonight I watched the Lord help a grown man overcome, and I watched how God deposited a nugget of peace into a boy’s heart. Same corner. Same night. And it was beautiful.

First I carried new pillows and a comforter to this friend who had moved from the shelter. I loaded up sheets, dishes, silverware, bowls and kitchen things and placed them on the counter in his apartment. He also received a microwave, which he carried inside.

He still needed a clock and a shower curtain, so I ran to the store and got those items.

Then it happened. The moment when joy exploded from his heart and jumped to mine. He couldn’t stop touching his new items, and his smile landed on me like sweet honey.

I prayed for him, and he prayed for me, and he finished with, “The Lord has brought blessing after blessing.”

The Real Story Unfolds

As I walked to my car, a small boy ran up to me. “Do you have any more pillows?”

“No, why? Do you need one?”

An older woman hollered at the boy. “Leave the lady alone. And don’t be begging her for stuff.”

“It’s all right. I don’t mind. Does he need a pillow?”

The granny-type woman shuffled over, standing by the boy. “He might. He just moved in with me. We didn’t get much of his things when his maw left for …”

The boy finished, wiping his eyes. “She’s in jail again.”

I sighed. “I’m sorry. So, you might need a pillow?”

“Yes.” The boy kicked at the dirt.

“I’ll be right back.”

Be a Part of God’s Story

I drove to the store, and came back to find the boy sitting on the curb. Parking, I pulled a brand-new pillow from the seat. “Look, what I have.”

He held the pillow close, squishing it with a bear hug. “I’m pretending I’m hugging my mom. I hope she comes home soon.”

And that’s when I cried, wishing for a pillow of my own, but instead, I opted for a hug from a little boy. He whispered, “It’s okay to cry. Your eyes get cleaned out that way, so you can see better.”

“See? Better?”

“Yes, my grandma says tears help us think of what is important.”


He swallowed hard and stood in front of me. “Yeah, like … having a new pillow!”

“I pray your mom comes home soon. She has a precious little boy.”

He scampered off to the call of his grandma, as she waved at me from the shadows. And I stood lingering on the curb, not wanting to leave. But somehow, I felt like an eagle ready to soar, because if I’d never come to the apartments, I wouldn’t have met the little boy who stole my heart. Who I’ll probably never see again!

Bigger Stories with God

Even now, I pray that I consider what is important, because there’s a bigger story being told than what I think.

May I think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

And may I hug my pillow tonight and thank the Lord for His mercy and grace, and His everlasting love!


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