Squeaky shoes, a butterfly, and a sandwich spread joy

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

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My granddaughter has a pair of squeaky shoes – several actually. She loves wearing them and is fully delighted by the way each step creates a cheerful “squeak” to announce her arrival.

Caroline is not quite two years old. She toddles gleefully around her front yard and at the Luverne Public Library, laughing with pure, unadulterated joy as her shoes herald each bounding step.

In the beginning, I questioned my daughter, “Why would you make that baby wear such noisy shoes?”

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The response was simple.

“She loves them,” my daughter said.

And, she was right. Watching the way Caroline giggles and runs, down the hall or around the playground, her joy is evident.

Caroline is not old enough to tell us why she loves her squeaky shoes, but we have all met adults who skip through life, embracing small blessings and spreading joy with their presence.

Our sales manager, David Lovell, has just about the nicest young son I know and during a visit to our Greenville office one afternoon, Chance Lovell showed me his pet butterfly.

The butterfly, which seems to be a solar powered desk ornament, hangs inside a plastic dome. It “flies” around its habitat when shaken, but otherwise, sits unmoving on any flat surface.

Chance proudly explained the toy was a “real” butterfly and I played along, complimenting him on its beauty.

The next day, I found that sweet Chance had left his butterfly on my desk as a present to brighten my day. I was touched, deeply moved by the way he shared his joy with me, finding delight in the simplest of items.

Adults sometimes struggle to find joy in simple things, but some do, spreading it to those around them.

At the Hayneville Subway Monday night, I encountered such a gentleman. He ordered a sandwich and salad and intended to pay for his companion’s meal. The other gentleman had already checked out, so this older gentleman decided to pay for my dinner.

After a brief exchange, and a little protest on my part, I left with my sandwich and a little more joy in my heart because of his generosity.

“God is good, all the time,” he said. And I replied, “And all the time, God is good.”

Caroline could have cried about her noisy shoes. I probably would have. But instead, she reveled in the delight of each squeaky step.

Chance might have kept his beautiful butterfly, but chose instead to leave it to brighten our office.

The stranger at Subway had the opportunity to save a few dollars, but extended his blessings to me by “paying it forward.”

Let us find joy in the simplest of pleasures and let us, like these three, spread it around to the people we encounter along the way.