There’s a park by my mom’s house that I always skate that’s just a couple rails and a box. I was there the other day and this little kid came and started cruising around and talking to me. It seemed like he had just started getting into it and couldn’t have been older than 10 years old. His name was Matthew and this kid made my day.
He didn’t have the language to express the tricks he wanted me to do, but he kept asking me to do things in a fun way. Instead of saying “boardslide the rail,” he would say, “Go on the rail in the middle of your board.” Then I would go do it, and he would be like, “WOAH, YOU DID THE WHOLE THING IN THE MIDDLE!” One time I did a kickflip to a boardslide and he said something like, “WOAH, YOU DID A FLIP ONTO THE MIDDLE?” And he kept asking me to race him through the park, and I kept trying tricks along the way, and eventually he told me that if I tried a trick along the way and messed up I would automatically win. Imagine Olympic races with those rules.
The funny thing about this experience is that when we think about people to skate with that will push us to get better, we usually think of people that are better than us. But the reactions I would get from this kid was so amusing that I was having a blast trying things just to see what kind of reaction I was going to get. Matthew was pushing me based on the amount of excitement he was expressing, and it rubbed off on me and made me more excited to skate and try things.
Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” This kid was a Godsend, the joy in him and the joy that arose in me as a result was unmatched to anything I have ever encountered. Psalm 8:2 says, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have ordained strength.” Out of the mouth and smiles of Matthew I saw the Lord expressing the joy and love he has for myself and all his children. Never fail to give attention to the little ones, there may be a Matthew encounter just waiting to happen.