The Wooden Bowl


The Wooden Bowl
Author Unknown

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year
old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred,
and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.  But the elderly
grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas
rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled
on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must
do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled
milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”  So the husband and wife set
small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of
the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two,
his food was served in a wooden bowl!  When the family glanced in
Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.  Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood
scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”
Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you
and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled
and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears
started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both
knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him
back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal
with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to
care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”  Matthew 7:12


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