A Juice Box

I got the best present ever today. It was a Capri Sun juice box.

Today, as the Little League team I help coach was starting the first inning, six-year-old Anilda came to sit beside me in the dugout. Anilda is the sister of one of our players, and she’s always around when baseball stuff is going on. Anilda’s as adorable as they come. Her strongest language is French, so sometimes I can’t understand her accent and she can’t always understand mine, but we get along just fine. She also thinks it’s hysterical that she’s tri-lingual and I just speak English. Today is April Fools Day, so Anilda had all her best jokes in a mental queue, just waiting for each new person she ran into. My shoes were untied, Stacey magically appeared beside me, and there was a spider on my head. Oh, yes. The usual. And all of it accompanied by a great big, front-tooth-gap six-year old grin and giggles galore.

About a half hour in, Anilda got hungry and asked if she could get her dinner from the snack bar. She showed me her cash: Two dollars for the hot dog and a third for a juice box. Two juice boxes, actually, she told me. Two for a dollar. And she was definitely looking forward to it.

I let her go get her dinner on a break between innings and walked far enough over so that I could see her and still keep track of the pitch count in my head.  She reached in tippy-toes to push her cash onto the counter, grabbed the hot dog in one hand and the Capri Suns in the other, and we hurried back to the dugout.

She stabbed one juice packet with a straw, started sipping, and handed the other to me. “Is this for me?” I asked. She nodded.

When you’re six, fifty cents is a lot of money. Probably, the only money you own is the money your dad gave you for dinner. And a Capri Sun is nothing to sniff at. Giving it to someone else is a pretty big sacrifice, when you’re six.

I felt like I had just been given the moon.

It’s funny how when a kid gives you something like that, it multiplies the value of the object. I could buy a hundred Capri Sun juices if I wanted to. But she could only buy two, and she gave me one of them. And that makes it mean a lot.

I think that’s how it is with us and God. God “owns the cattle on a thousand hills,” yet he loves it when we give him an hour of the day to volunteer at Sunday School or twenty bucks to feed the hungry. Why do we give God our stuff, our time, our money? Not because he needs it, but because he loves it. Just like I don’t need a child to buy me a juice box, but I love that she did and it made my day.

Photo Credit: Stacey Culpepper

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