Thursday, July 9, 2009

God Is In the Ordinary

A most beautiful thing happened the other day. I saw God - in a store employee.

Let me set this up a bit. Seth (6, with autism) has been coveting a trophy that Joel (11) received a few years back after his first soccer season in Houston. He wants it. Bad.

None of us can make him understand that you have to do something to receive a trophy, and that this particular trophy is very special to Joel, and - no - he cannot have it. He has begged, pleaded, bargained with his brother to have the trophy in his room and obsesses about it - often.

Fast-forward to a few days before oldest brother Alexx graduates from high school in May. Seth and I visited Noblesville Trophies to look into having the watch we were getting Alexx for graduation engraved. When we walked in, it was like when I walk into Ikea - I just knew Seth heard angels singing. The room is full of trophies - hundreds of them of every shape, color, sport, etc., imaginable. How I got him out of there, I do not remember. But the visit stuck in his head, as he asked me nearly every waking hour after that if we could go back to get him a trophy of his own.

If you've never been the object of an autistic person's obsessiveness, please imagine Chinese water torture directly onto the part of your brain that controls any sense of sanity or control.

I finally consented a few days ago, so off we went. After taking what seemed like hours to pick just the right trophy, we took it to the register to ask if they had it in stock. They did, and the woman working asked what we wanted engraved on it. When I said nothing, she looked at me so completely puzzled that I explained to her about his autism and the entire situation, and her face just melted.

So I got out my debit card, and she said that she couldn't run debit or credit for under $10 (it was $7.50). I told her we would be right back after going to the bank, turned to Seth to tell him we would come right back after going to get some money, and his face just fell. I continued to explain we would be right back - I promise!

The woman about came unglued. "You just go ahead and take it, young man!" I argued with her that we would be right back, that I wasn't taking it to no avail. Fine - then I told her to charge my debit card $10 for it. Nope. She wouldn't do it. She wanted him to have that trophy right now and that's it.

But there's more.

She then asked him if he'd like his name on the trophy; of course, he said yes. So she goes in the back and comes out with the trophy a few minutes later, which now reads, "Seth - the BEST of the BEST."

His eyes lit up and he nearly began dancing around with that trophy right there in the shop. I have never seen him so excited or proud.

I then told her we had definitely hit $10 now and handed my card in her direction. She would not take my money. "Seeing that little face it all I want."

After thanking her profusely, we went to the van and tears just rolled down my face. And Seth rode in his car seat kissing his new trophy all the way to PetsMart, where he then proudly walked through the store holding it.

There is more to the story, but to protect the woman's privacy, I will not put it here. She was the unfolding of a sermon our pastor had preached just a few days prior.

Lest we think there is little good in our world anymore ... just know that it can turn up when - and where - you least expect it.


  1. Holly, I live in Noblesville. My Autistic son is 12.

  2. I just love running into genuinely caring people.

    Yeah Seth! Has he attempted to sleep with the trophy yet? ;)

    Bless that lady's heart.

  3. I love reading your blog and letting us have that little peek into your world. Today, especially, it has hit me hard. I like how you face issues head on, where I tend to hide it; shield people from really looking in. Thank you for reminding me that I just need to face things head on and I maybe surprised by others.

  4. awwwww, that has tears falling from my eyes. People like that woman are part of the reason I am able to wake up and face each day.

  5. Seth is the best of the best and so is that sweet lady!

  6. God bless that gracious lady...and I know he will. Not only did that do wonders for Seth, but I'll bet it's something she will never forget.

  7. Aw, Holly, God bless Seth, and God bless that woman in the trophy shop. She knew that the way to your son's heart was through a trophy. Truly an angel! You are so blessed. :)

  8. I am so happy that lady saw the light in his eyes and knew that Seth is the Best of the Best! I wish I could give her a great big hug.

  9. oh my! I'm all teary eyed! You go Seth!