Our entire family loves the zoo. Each of the kids have different areas and animals that they like to see every time we’re there. Since it was a little cooler that day their were no lines to wait to see any of the animals. We were even able to peer through a glass enclosure and see the baby leopard that had recently been born. As always, everyone enjoyed themselves, but when we were at the kids play area I saw the astonishing love of a brother.
If you’re getting your hopes up that it was one of my own sons, let me burst your bubble now, it wasn’t. I had seen a young girl in a wheelchair periodically throughout the day at the zoo. She was probably somewhere between 8-10 years old. I noticed that her older brother, at least 16 because he drove them there, would push her where she was unable to maneuver her chair herself.
As Amanda and I sat down to watch our kids climb the cargo ropes and come down the slides, this same teenage boy and his wheelchair bound sister caught my attention. He lifted his sister out of her chair, carried her up 15-20 stairs to the top of the slide, hurried back down the stairs, and caught her at the bottom of the slide. He would lift her back up in his arms, march up the stairs again, only to run back down to do the same thing.
For nearly 20 minutes Amanda and I watched the love that this brother had for his sister being lived out in front of us. It was enjoyable watching our children have fun, but each time the brother lifted his sister in his arms my heart was filled with joy and I couldn’t help but smile.
What incredible love.
What excitement on the face of his sister.
This young man worked up a sweat loving his sister unconditionally. When they needed to continue on through the rest of the zoo, this brother took his sister back over to her chair. When I saw that his workout had concluded, I walked over to him and thanked him. I thanked him for the love that was shown to his little sister. I thanked him for the example of selflessness that Amanda and I were able to witness.
This teenage boy didn’t really know how to react to my complements. For him it was nothing! He just wanted his sister be able to do the same things the other children could do. For him it was easy because it was the love of a brother.
I then found out that he not only had his wheelchair bound sister but also another younger sibling and the neighbor kid! He took three young kids to the zoo. He then proceeded to tell me that when they arrived at the zoo that day someone at the zoo’s entry paid for their zoo passes! They were blessed at the gate and they blessed me at the kids’ zone.
After our brief conversation the four of them headed toward the reptile area and I couldn’t shake the thought that so many people complain about the stupidest things yet they can do so much. When you see the love of a brother displayed like this it makes you take a step back and think about your life.
Are we going to experience difficulties? Yes
Are struggles going to happen in our life? Yes
How are we going to react to them? What is going to be our perspective.
In the end, I didn’t see a little girl in a wheelchair . . . I saw a little girl smiling and laughing and enjoying the zoo as much as all the other children because she was held in the strong arms of a brother that loved her.