Want Some Crackers?

When I was growing up every Summer my family would pile into our old car and make the 8 hour trip over the mountains to spend a week visiting my Grandma in Tennessee. Each year too my Grandma and Aunt Charlotte would make us an early Thanksgiving dinner. The table would be full of mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, corn, yams, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, butter, pumpkin pie, and whipped cream. It was a feast of love and we would relish every bite of it.

During one of those visits on the day of our big meal, I met a new boy in the neighborhood while playing outside. His mom and he had just moved into town after his dad had left them. Like most young boys we became friends right away and spent the rest of the afternoon playing and talking. After we were pretty worn out from all of our adventures he invited me over to his home. It was older house that had seen better days. He said his mom was renting it and was away at work but that we could get a snack if we wanted. We searched the kitchen but there was nothing but empty shelves. I was shocked. I had never seen a house with no food in it before. Finally I heard, "Want some crackers?" My friend had found half a box of crackers and a peanut butter jar with a tiny bit left in it. He told me not to worry. His mom was getting paid soon and would fill the shelves again. Still, I didnít eat any of his crackers that afternoon.

That evening as I sat down to our early Thanksgiving dinner I looked at all the food and realized that my new friend had given me a gift. For the first time I was truly thankful to God for everything on my plate. For the first time too I truly saw the need in anotherís life.

I never saw my new friend after that. They moved again later that year. I still pray for him even today, though. He opened my heart that day to gratitude and compassion. He made me see that we are all one family in this world in need of both food and love.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2009 (joecool@wirefire.com) -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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