It’s a funny thing…being “in”…sitting at the “cool table.” No one can ever actually figure out from year to year what is going to be the deciding factor that constitutes “cool”. But for the 4th grade class in a local elementary school, the “cool table” was wherever there was a Lunch Buddy hanging out with a student.
“B” desperately wanted a Lunch Buddy of his own; but, every Monday he would approach the counselor to find out if there was an available Lunch Buddy for him. And Monday after Monday, the answer was “No”. Tears would fill his eyes and the counselor’s heart would crack just a little more. So she took action. One evening while having dinner with her own parents she announced it was time her father stepped up to his “civic duty” and become a Lunch Buddy. Her mother was already volunteering so the idea was not foreign to him.
The next Monday she was able to say “Yes!” And his smile danced with joy.
Her dad was worried about the age difference. “Who would want a 70-year-old Lunch Buddy when most of the other guys were young adults?” Well “B” wanted that 70-year-old! Badly!!!! He didn’t see age…just love.
And they soon became fast friends. Conversation was easy and their laughter and storytelling adventures turned “B’s” corner of the lunchroom into the “cool corner.” Other boys began to join and “Dad” even came when “B” was absent. There was always a boy who needed a good male conversation during lunch. A funny thing began to happen. Boys would run into class on Lunch Buddy day and call “DIBS” on “Dad”. “Dibs” meant they were able to sit right next to him at lunch.
“Dad” would return to his own dinner table Wednesday evenings and tell stories of “B” and his friends. Pretty soon the counselor’s son and his girlfriend and her daughter’s fiance’ joined the Lunch Buddy program. Each one developed an incredible connection with their buddy. Each one enjoyed sitting at the “cool table”. And all were blessed.
As Jesus commanded, each one welcomed the little children, came near to a young heart, spoke encouragement into a life and left a ripple of kindness. It was a lifetime investment made in a 20-minute lunch once a week.