Last Friday was the first day with my Lunch Buddy for the new school year. The “Lunch Buddies Program,” part of “Big Brothers Big Sisters,” matches a volunteer with an elementary age child.
This is the 3rd year my lunch buddy and I have been buddies. We eat lunch together, talk, play “Sorry” (his rules), go to the playground and play tag (with my inhaler handy), slide down the slides, swing on the swings, monkey across the monkey bars.
I love that 30 minutes a week.
I love that kid.
The idea is for the volunteer to help the kid. You know, though, it goes both ways. More times than not, he’s more a “helper” to me than I am to him.
Friday, he was the helper, the teacher, the adult. I was the kid.
We were in the school library, eating lunch while playing a game. I noticed a new book on display – a book on Superman.
So, I said, “If I were a superhero, I’d love to fly. Just run down the street, jump up and fly!”
I posed the question to him, “What would you do if you were a superhero?”
I was expecting web-spinning or wall-climbing like Spiderman.
Super strength like the Incredible Hulk.
X-ray vision like Superman.
Self-healing like the Wolverine.
Having cool stuff like Batman.
But no. He went a totally different direction.
Here is his answer.
“I’d like to help people,” he said.
I felt small enough to crawl under the kid-sized library table at which we were sitting.
I was schooled.
“Your answer is a lot better than mine!” I told him raising my hand to give him a fist-bump.
And it was. No doubt.
Is this what Jesus meant when he held up a child and said, “The kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children” (Luke 18:16)?
My lunch buddy doesn’t know this verse but he certainly lives it: “All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:21).
I knew the verse but wasn’t living it.
When I left the school, my lunch buddy hugged me and said, “Thank you for coming to see me.”
“You’re welcome,” I responded, ”Thank you for teaching me today.”