A Baby’s Hug

This sweet story reminded me of a time years back, when I used to help organise Sahaja Yoga meetings in Caxton Hall in the early 70’s. The hall was packed and Shri Mataji had just finished Her program and people were clamouring around Her… I suddenly viewed from the stage the crowd separating just like the parting of the waters, letting through a woman in rags who obviously just wandered in from the streets; well, the scene was surreal, no one dare go near her …when suddenly Shri Mataji came down and headed straight for this woman and hugged her as if she was a long-lost relative. Needless to say the rest of us kept a distance….then as fast as it started it ended, and the woman just left without a word, with a satisfied look on her face!

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment. I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.

“Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?”Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi.”

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do ya know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labour, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”

Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.” I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are. “It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are.” You can’t free the rest of the world until you’ve freed yourself. Promoting fear is the easiest way to cause people to feel powerless, and surrender their freedoms and tax dollars to those in power. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.

Source: The Australian Sahaja Yoga Newsletter, 7 & 14 Dec., 2007

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Hendricks said,

    Your story was very touching. I was simply surfing some websites for articles on children’s innocence when I came upon yours. For the past few weeks I’ve been setting weekly goals to become closer to God and understand more of His Will for me. Since then, everyday I’ve been receiving messages in a variety of forms. Today, this was His message. This story is so powerful. It makes a part of me feel unworthy because I don’t give back to Him as much as He gives to me freely! But if I make one life-changing goal, I will forever be blessed without guilt. I’m only twenty, and God has so much hope for me. Thank you!

    • 2

      Jagruti said,

      Thank you for this story. I shall repeat what Hendricks has said I was simply surfing some websites for articles on children’s innocence when I came upon yours. For the past few months I’ve been conciously trying to understand God and the mission in store for me. I know my mission is related to children. It did make me feel sad because I too don’t give back to Him as much as He gives to me! I too forgive myself because God has so much hope for me and all of us. Thank you once again!


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