The sun was still high above the horizon and Philip judged they would have plenty of time to play before darkness would put an end to their fun. Philip’s family had invited another family over for a backyard picnic, and Philip was excited because even though they had never visited with them before, he knew they had a boy near his age. Philip could smell the hamburgers as they began to sizzle on the grill. He could hardly wait for their guests to arrive! Finally a van drove into the driveway as Mother was putting finishing touches onto the picnic table.
“They’re here!” he shouted.
Out of the van came a little girl and two boys. But what was this? One of the boys was in a wheelchair! The other boy looked like he was the one closest to Philip’s age, and he pushed his smaller brother over to where Philip stood.
“Hi, my name’s Joel and this is Jared.”
Philip stared for a moment, but then remembered himself. “Oh, uh, Hi. My name is Philip.” He smiled and thought that probably what he saw was Jared’s smile in return.
The suppertime went by quickly with lively chatter and good food. Philip tried to think of questions to ask Joel in order to get to know him better. “Do you like baseball?” he asked.
“Sure,” Joel said.
“Maybe we can play some catch after supper.”
“Sure,” he replied again. As they ate, Joel was ever attentive to his brother’s needs, reaching different dishes and helping him hold his cup. Philip noticed it all.
After devotions Philip ran to get his ball and glove, and when he returned, he found Joel–and Jared-waiting for him. Philip gulped. How would they all play catch?
But Joel knew exactly how. “Throw the ball to me and I’ll throw it to Jared. He can’t throw very far, so he can throw it back to me and then I’ll throw it back to you, okay?” Philip watched as Joel gently tossed the ball to Jared so that all three boys could enjoy the game together.
Much too soon, though, the picnic was over. As Philip waved good-bye, he could not help but appreciate the love these two brothers had displayed for him this evening. It would leave a lasting memory.
“Finally, brethren,… whatsoever things are lovely,…think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). ❖