On my way from home to work each day I pass through several school crossing zones. On most days, other than the reducing of speed, I don’t really notice too much. It’s part of the routine and like most things, becomes part of the background of life. Today, however, for some reason, my mind and focus were caught by a brief exchange on the street.
There was a really little guy, maybe 6 years old, who was heavy laden with this backpack. His walking route included crossing the street at the base of a pretty steep hill across 6 lanes of traffic. I was the front car in my lane at the red light of this intersection and he caught my attention. From my mother’s heart I looked at him with a bit of worry because he was so small and all alone. When he came to the cross walk he looked up at the traffic with wide eyes as there were several big cars, some of which didn’t look like they were preparing to stop, but they did. I could visibly see him mustering up his courage as this was probably the hardest few yards of his entire walk. He was approached by a school crossing guard and with wide and trusting eyes he nodded. With that he reached his tiny hand up to meet the hand of the older gentleman who was to be his sentry and guard across the street. There, in an ordinary moment I saw the utter trust and courage of that little boy. I saw a tender exchange between the two as they, side-by-side and hand-in-hand, started their walk together.
And, then I watched the crossing guard. He knew exactly how precious his ward was and he deliberately, with confidence and authority, caught the eye of each and every driver before he crossed in front of their car. He took his job of protection very seriously and he was not going to let chance or distraction deter him from safely depositing this little boy across 6 lanes of traffic.
Yes, it was an ordinary sight on any ordinary Tuesday. But in that moment I was fully aware of the connection we have to each other as humans – strangers or not, as we carry on our day. We hold life in our hands and we often do not think to notice. Of course, the little boy was safely back on his trek to school in but a moment. The crossing guard kept his watchful eye on the little boy, even beyond his post. I was thankful in that moment for the dedication of this man. Clearly he was in the age of retirement and he could have chosen to sleep in these mornings. But instead, he cared about his community and he cared for “his” kids – enough to be a momentary guardian. What a precious extraordinary, very ordinary moment.
What ordinary moments have you noticed in an extraordinary way today? Be blessed!