A LITTLE BOY’S HEART
It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in
almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The
creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season
that would bankrupt seven farmers before it was through.
Everyday my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of
trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking
a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water.
But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn’t see some rain
soon…we would lose everything. It was on this day that I learned the
true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my
I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I
saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn’t
walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious
purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great
effort…trying to be as still as possible.
Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again,
toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that
whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he
was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods.
This activity went on for an hour: walk carefully to the woods, run back
to the house.
Finally I couldn’t take it any longer and I crept out of the house and
followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen…as he was
obviously doing important work and didn’t need his Mommy checking up on
him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being very
careful not to spill the water he held in them…maybe two or three
tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into
Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid
them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw
the most amazing site. Several large deer loomed in front of him.
Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A
huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did
not threaten him…he didn’t even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a
tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and
heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water
cupped in my beautiful boy’s hand.
When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I
hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house to a spigot that we
had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small
trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drips slowly fill
up his makeshift “cup”, as the sun beat down on his little back.
And it came clear to me. The trouble he had gotten into for playing with
the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance
of not wasting water. The reason he didn’t ask me to help him. It took
almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands.
When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him.
His little eyes just filled with tears. “I’m not wasting”, was all he
said. As he began his walk, I joined him…with a small pot of water from
the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his
job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I
have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that
rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by
other drops…and more drops…and more. I looked up at the sky. It was
as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.
Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That
miracles don’t really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I
can’t argue with that…I’m not going to try. All I can say is that the
rain that came that day saved our farm…just like that actions of one
little boy saved another.