Written by Daniel Hazard
1 Samuel 20:20
"I will shoot three arrows…."
Much has been made of the story of the two men who found an abandoned baby in a New York City subway and went on to adopt the child. Kevin, now 12, is finally getting the publicity he is due. And so are his fathers. An ancillary story to Kevin's has just begun to make the rounds in New York as well, telling us that there are multiple heroes in town.
Mr. Maxwell, a fifth-grade teacher, retired. When he taught his last class, he told his students that they could now call him by his first name, because from now on he was their friend and not their teacher. Omar stayed after class and asked, "Do you mind if I call you Daddy?" Mr. Maxwell not only said yes. He adopted Omar. He later said, "I needed a son as much as Omar needed a Daddy." Two arrows shot towards each other, in that same nearly hopeless way that Jonathan and David loved each other.
The parents who picked up the baby in the subway were not out looking for a baby nor was Mr. Maxwell actively looking for a son. Instead the baby was there and it was the judge who suggested to the man who found him that he adopt him. Why not, said the judge? Mr. Maxwell could have said no but instead he said yes. Authentic caring may be finally opportunistic. We see our opportunities and we take them, turning all the jabber about caring from zirconium into diamond, from plastic cups into pinging crystal.
O God, let us not keep our arrows in a quiver or ourselves in a dither. Let us figure out how to say yes at the right time. Amen