I’ve written before about the special relationship Aaron has with Carl, one of our Meals on Wheels clients. Carl has taken a special liking to Aaron and loves to give him things. Sometimes Carl will even give me a small gift like a flower from his yard, or a picture.
Carl loves to see Aaron’s delight and Aaron loves BEING delighted. Carl asked me once if he was doing too much. I told him that he doesn’t need to give Aaron things every week. Yet most weeks Carl does have a little something for Aaron.
Today Aaron took a bag of dog treats that he wanted to give to Lucky, Carl’s dog. I love it when Aaron wants to do the giving, so I agreed. When we got to Carl’s house, he invited us in so that Aaron could give Lucky her treat. Feeble old Lucky hobbled over to Aaron and happily took the dog bone from Aaron’s hand. Aaron handed the bag of treats to Carl, happy as he could be that Lucky liked the bone and that he could give her more.
I could tell that Carl didn’t have anything for Aaron, and that was perfectly fine. But then Carl reached down beside his chair and picked up a shopping bag in which was a can of Maxwell House Coffee. He asked me if we like coffee and then wanted me to take the bag.
I did not want him to give me that coffee so I thanked him but said no. I told him that I had just bought coffee, which was true, and that he needed to keep his coffee.
Surprisingly, Aaron was quiet during our exchange. He and I left, but as we walked to the car Aaron spoke very quietly to me.
“You ruined his heart,” Aaron softly said.
That almost stopped me in my tracks.
Aaron kept saying that to me over and over as we made our last two deliveries and then headed to lunch. We talked a lot about it and I believe that Aaron understands why I did not take the coffee.
But still, Aaron felt so bad that Carl wanted to give us something and I said no. Aaron wasn’t concerned about the fact that he didn’t get any gift today.
No. He was worried about Carl’s heart…about hurting Carl’s feelings.
He knows that giving a gift is a good thing for the giver more than the one doing the getting.
I’m pretty blown away by that perception on Aaron’s part.
Blown away by the very insightful way that Aaron verbalized his thoughts.
Aaron loves to give things away, but I never realized that he has empathy and understanding toward others who are doing the giving.
He knows that the joy he feels when giving is also felt by others who are giving to him.
I can also see that the kindness of Carl…and of others like him in Aaron’s life…is causing kindness to blossom in Aaron.
Sometimes Aaron can be the very opposite of kind, quite honestly. We talked some about how his words can ruin hearts. But whatever is going on with Aaron and with his words and behaviors, I hope that I will pause and remember Aaron’s words.
You ruined his heart.
May that never be what I do to anyone, and especially not to this special son that God has given to us.