On Friday while teaching gym to 6th and 7th grade boys I observed the following incident.
They were all playing basketball. One boy who I'll call Joseph apparently held the ball a little longer than his teammate would have liked. Teammate, who I'll call Mark, being a normal, competitive young boy hollered, "Throw the ball!!"
Joseph, who has other challenges in his life, teared up, threw the ball, and backed away from the court clearly not wanting to play anymore. Seeing Joseph crying I came over to see what had happened. Mark explained and then, obviously trying to make amends said, "Come on, Joseph. Come on! You have to play. The team needs you!!! Come on!" He was gentle in tone and earnest in his encouragement.
Joseph rejoined the game. I was touched by this incident. These kids care about each other. Mark(not his real name) could have easily reasoned, hey, what's the big deal. All I said was to throw the ball. But he didn't. He knew this wasn't about basketball or whether Joseph's response was reasonable. Someone's feelings were hurt and Mark just did what he could to make it right.
At the end of class I made a point of telling Mark what a good thing I thought he had done. I told him that's just what Jesus would do.
Mark just nodded and ran off to his next class.
Little acts of kindness so warm the heart.