Michael Bresciani
5-year-old boy with a lesson for the entire world -- and a lingering question
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By Michael Bresciani
May 23, 2015

The news is rife with sad stories, tragedies and other matters not just hard to ingest, but hard just to watch.

Like a shooting star or a beautiful sighting of the occasional firefly on a summer night, a story or clip will flash across the waves of the worst behaviors of mankind. It is these kinds of stories that spark the depths of the human heart, where, although deeply buried and desensitized, hope, kindness and the better nature of decent people resides. We may be brought to tears, inspired or re-warmed by the best things humans can do instead of the worst.

The story begins in Prattville, Alabama, a town named after industrialist and architect Daniel Pratt and founded in 1839. Known for its huge cotton gin set by the Autauga Creek it was well known as an industrial center until recent times, but now has been placed prominently on the map once again by a five year old boy named Josiah Duncan.

Upon taking her five year old to eat at a local Waffle House, Josiah's mother, Ava Faulk was bombarded with questions when he saw a homeless man sitting in front of the restaurant. He wanted to know exactly what a homeless person was and if he had no house where would he keep his groceries.

After listening to his mother's answers Josiah then insisted that his mom should buy him a meal. She agreed and the man was invited in to the restaurant. Josiah helped the man with his order, as mom assured him that he could have as much bacon as he wanted with his bacon hamburger.

When the homeless man was served his meal Josiah decided that he should offer a prayer of thanks to God, which is when he bellowed out his blessing at the top of his little lungs for everyone in the diner to hear.

Josiah's mother remarked in a video that Josiah's prayer brought tears to the eyes of nearly every customer in the Waffle House that day.

Montgomery's WSFA TV-12 ran the story of Josiah on May 17, 2015 and it has since been aired around the nation on both network and cable news outlets.

The un-coerced and totally spontaneous behavior of Josiah Duncan serves as a lesson to the entire world. Others entered the same restaurant that day and also saw the homeless man, but only this boy with an angelic sense of perception and no pretension, saw him with a concern and curiosity that reflects something we may have all – long since lost.

The innocence we are so sure our children must rush to rid themselves of is exactly what drove this little man to see what only innocence can still see. It is this kind of behavior that helps us to understand why Christ said the following.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Mt 18: 10)

It is also a lesson that ends with a very important question.

It is a question that a five year old boy posed without the knowledge of politics, social issues or legal matters and yet it asks everyone the most important question posed in the entire last generation.

Why, since 1973, have we aborted 55 million unborn children? And how many Josiah Duncans' might there have been among them?

Can we afford to lose such angels, do we not need this kind of humanity and finally – what makes us think that when we all re-envision the face of God as children do at the first; we will be able to answer for the cruel punishment laid upon these innocent ones?

Forget the question "Are you smarter than a fifth grader" and get on with answering a far more important question sent to us by the kindness of one little boy from Alabama. "Are we more compassionate than a five year old boy" – if not, then, why not?



© Michael Bresciani

 

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