Monday, January 20, 2014

The Little Leaf

We live near a train station. From our window, we can watch the trains come and go. My little Moishy loves watching them. He gets all excited when he hears the engine of another train coming, stops what he is doing and runs to the window shouting "tchayy".

Recently, we started adding a "look out for trains session" before he takes his nap. Moishy sits on my lap and we look out the window together, waiting for the next train to come. We wave "hi" together and then say "ba-bye" to the train as it disappears from view.

Sometimes, many times, a train pulls up the second we sit down together and look out the window. Other times, it takes a little longer. many times the train comes right away.

And I wonder...I think about the famous story about a rebbe who went on a walk with his chassidim in the forest. One chassid asked his rebbe why so many leaves were falling off the trees. The rebbe said he would watch out for the next leaf that fell and give him an answer.

As they continued to walk, another leaf slowly fluttered down to the ground. 

When the rebbe lifted up the leaf and saw a little worm under it, he explained the following, "This little worm was crawling in the forest and the sun was beating down its back. It was uncomfortable. So it called out to Hashem and cried, "Please Hashem, I am so uncomfortable. I am so small. I don't know what to do to help myself. Please, help me. Only YOU can help me." And so, Hashem commanded the wind to blow over all the trees in that forest. The wind blew and blew until it shook the leaves of one tree and one leaf detached from its branch and slowly fell to the ground. It swished this way and that until finally, it fell down...right on top of the little worm."

R' Yom Tov Ehrlich sings this song in yiddish. I don't remember the whole song, but I do remember the beautiful words at the end. Un der kleineh veremel iz eingeshlufin zees-loosely translated as-and the little worm fell asleep ever so softly...comfortable now, shielded from the blazing sun.

I love repeating this story to my children. It's such a good message for them to hear-again and again. They need to know that every little thing is calculated. Every leaf that falls down to the ground has a purpose. That Hashem takes care of every single person. If Hashem cares so much about the comfort of one little worm who called out to Him in prayer, don't you think He cares about each one of us? How important it is for us to call out to Hashem when we are uncomfortable. How it doesn't matter if it's something small, like if we are cold or hot or itchy or whatever, we can ask Hashem for anything. Nothing is too small for Him. And He cares. And He listens. And He answers....sometimes. (I don't tell them about the sometimes yet...they are not old enough to understand that there is so much that we cannot understand. :))

And I wonder...while I am sitting there on the bed with Moishy on my lap, looking out for the next train to come, is that too calculated? 

I wonder...there are so many people waiting for the next train. Some of them are in a rush, some of them are in no rush at all, many of them busy with their phones, tablets and games. Perhaps some people take a few steps forward and look out to see if the train is coming, if it is at the next station.

When the train finally does come, is that calculated for my little boy? Is that Hashem's way of giving over this message? I wonder if He's saying to all the passengers waiting to move on with their day, to get to work, to shop, back home or wherever they need to go...You need to wait another 30 seconds. There is a mother getting her son's pacifier and blanket together and they will be looking out the window in another few moments. This train has to come at that precise minute. Just another few seconds and your train will that mommy and baby can come to the window and see the train at the exact moment that they sit down together.

Is this also part of Hashem's plan?

I like to think it is. It makes me feel loved and cared for.

It helps me see Hashem in the little things. So that when I have a hard time seeing Him in the bigger things, in this big confusing world I live in, I can know without a doubt that every single thing is calculated. That He knows what He is doing. Even when I don't see it. Even when I don't understand.

While I wait for the train to come roaring down the tracks, I have the daily opportunity to remind myself that Hashem  IS there. He IS watching. He IS taking care of me...of my little baby...and He is watching over the whole world with precision that can only be attributed to Hashem Himself. 

Thank you, Hashem, for this reminder.

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