The Ballestero Blog

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The Boy On The Pillow

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The Boy On The Pillow

My travel weary Father walked in the house and was greeted with hugs and kisses from our family. He had just returned from a trip to Brazil and had flown back to Chicago and then on to our home in South Bend, Indiana.

We all waited for him to share the news of his trip to South America and tell us what it was like there. Over one of Mom’s suppers that was fit for a king, Dad entertained us with wonderful descriptions of his experiences there.

After the meal we migrated to the living room and found comfortable places to sit while the stories continued. What is sad is that at this writing, nearly 50 years later, I’ve forgotten just about all the stories. All the stories except the last one, that is.

His last story wasn’t really even about Brazil. It was about what he saw on the plane coming home from South America. It was about a family across the aisle from him.

He said that both of the parents wore very expensive clothes. The Father was dressed in a tailored suit and the Mother had on her best as well. They appeared to be people of culture and class.

Resting in the Fathers lap was a large pillow that he had brought on the plane. His small son rested on the pillow. The son, although small, was not an infant. His face showed maturity way beyond his size. He was not a perfect child, nor a pretty one. His face looked like he might be 6 or 7 but his body looked like that of a toddler’s. His bones were brittle and easily broken. His deformities made some stare and others turn their heads away after a cursory glance.

Although it might be considered a sight that was a bit unusual, that wasn’t what really imprinted itself in my Father’s mind and in his heart. It was what the Father did that left a lasting impression upon him.

Although the Father was smiling, and gracious to those who caught his eye, his attention was almost totally directed toward the little boy on the pillow. The Father bent over and talked so sweetly to his son. He spoke softly and tenderly. He caressed him gently all the while hoping to elicit a smile or response from the boy. He fed him. He comforted him with soft-spoken words. He kissed him on the head and on the hand. His hands seemed to comfort and reassure the child.

The Father did not seem to be embarrassed because his son was handicapped or misshapen. He seemed proud of his little boy; he was oblivious of the stares and whispers. He reveled in his son’s smiles and gurgles. He was a doting Father.

With tears in his eyes, our Dad leaned back in his old green recliner, and he taught our family a truth about our Heavenly Father that night.

Dad told us that in many ways, some of God’s children are less then perfect. Yet He ignores the comments and stares on hell and He dotes on His children. Hoping to get smiles and responses from us who have been deformed by sin and are less then perfect. He comforts us with His words and by the touch of His hand. His expressions of love are unending.

That evening we all went to bed with an enlightened understanding of the love of God. Even though we are not perfect, we now understood that He still adores us.

That night and many nights since I’ve had to pray, “Thank you my Father for loving me!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 2, 2010 at 12:57 am

Posted in Family, Love, Mercy

13 Responses

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  1. That was such a wonderful story of Dad and how we learn so much from the sweet lessons that have blessed us to love and care anyway in life. Not bothered about the stares we have a prize in life and we know it.


    June 2, 2010 at 1:18 am

  2. Headed for 50,000, go Bro! You are the best!


    June 2, 2010 at 3:00 am

  3. A beautiful anology of how our Father loves and nurtures us! You have a wonderful way of writing that puts us right there in the middle of the story! Felt like I was there watching that father hold and caress that sweet child!

    Pamella Lemieux

    June 2, 2010 at 9:59 am

  4. Your dad was a classy person. Soft manners, but could be strong if he wanted to.He fasted several days for Bill when he was in the mist of the camp problem. Bill was so moved by his concern. When your Dad talked people listened. This story showed his awareness of the deeper feelings in life.

    Marian June Davis

    June 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    • Thanks Mom for the very kind words. I am blessed exceedingly of the Lord to have been his son.


      June 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm

  5. I have had many nights of deep thought and concern as to the reason some feel, teach, believe and cast down those who are not exactely like them. We shall all be the same! We shall and be perfect. “IN that great getten up morning.”

    Just my thought;



    June 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

  6. Were you the little boy on the pillow?…lol j/k
    Great post, I’m sure thankful for my Fathers love.

    Jerry Rowley, Jr.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

  7. I am so glad that such a remarkable man shared such a remarkable ministry with our church. His preaching feed ministers for days after he left!

    I will never forget Bro. Carl Ballestero!

    Dr. John Scheel

    June 3, 2010 at 1:44 am

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