I stood staring off into the distance, smiling like a fool, as I waited for the washing machine to fill. I was in a daze, reminiscing about this amazing little boy I met, whose determination has forever changed my life.
Imagine for a second, the most adorable little boy, standing at a child-size sink, stretching with all his might to reach the cold water handle. He barely meets you at your waist—although he is four years old—and is now standing on his tip toes determined to turn the water off by himself.
This may not sound as remarkable in print as it was in person, but Hector has a
medical condition that has stunted his growth and his fingers cannot bend. Can you imagine the determination of this little boy that he never asked for help, although it took him at least a minute and a half to do what takes most of us less than 2 seconds? I was standing within a foot of him the whole time and he never once looked back at me in hopes that I’d intervene. He remained focused on his goal, never quit stretching his whole body to get that extra eighth of an inch he needed to do it by himself. I fought the urge to help him because I knew that if I showed that I did not have confidence in him, he would lose confidence in himself. I stood by and waited for him to ask for help. He never did. When it seemed he could not possibly reach it, he repositioned himself and somehow managed to stretch that extra eighth of an inch, and his fingers touched that handle! When the last drip of water fell from the faucet and his feet were back on the floor, I didn’t know whether to cheer or cry. I was so proud of him, so inspired by him, and so glad that I did not help him.
I learned two valuable lessons in that moment. The first is that we can accomplish amazing things—things that seem so far outside our reach—if we don’t stop believing. The second, is that in times when we are struggling with a challenge, wondering why God won’t intervene, He is often standing close by proudly mouthing the words, “You can do it.”