They’re old enough, right? I mean, they can ask me for things on a regular basis, let me know when they’re pissed or need help, and even give me hugs or hold my hand. If they can do that with me, why can’t they do the same with God? We think at least a couple of the kids are old enough to start praying.
We started slow, by praying with them at bed time, letting them hear us, first. After a few nights, it was their turn. I started, like before, then I asked them to do it. I walked them through the process, explaining that you’re just talking to God, and He just wants to hear what’s on your mind. Maybe thank him for something, ask for something for someone you love, and then tell him bye. Just like calling Mamoo, only you don’t have to repeat yourself 5 times because she gets distracted. He’ll catch it on the first try.
Marley went first, but I have no idea what they talked about. It might have been an awesome prayer, interceding for the lost, the hurting, and everyone she knew. Most likely it was about penguins, Reese Cups, and cute shirts for school. Unless some future prophet pens the Epistle of Marley, the world will never know the content of that prayer because it was muttered so fast, it sounded like one humongous word. I’m pretty sure I heard “Amen”, so at least she didn’t just hang up on God.
Everyone was quiet for a second or two since she just prayed like the Micro Machines guy. I’m trying to be all quiet and respectful for her time with God, when a tiny, bony little fingers slides between a couple of ribs. I’m fairly certain she hit something important in there. I look up, and a blonde version of that little girl from “The Ring” is staring at me. Through clenched teeth she tells me “I’m done. Bubby’s turn.”
Ok, Gav-o, you’re up. Between you, me, and the fence post, I was really, really nervous about what he was going to say. After all, this is the kid that can’t go a day without using the words toilet, butt trumpet, and giant floating baby head.
“Dear Lord, thanks for waffles. They’re awesome. Amen.”
You know how when you think you hear someone say something either really wrong or really weird, you kind of cock your head to the side a little and concentrate really hard in case they say it again? I didn’t do that. I knew exactly what he said. No messing that up.
Do I say something? Do I explain why you don’t pray for breakfast pastries? Yeah, I probably need to address this so that next time he doesn’t go further and thank God for allowing him to get rid of that “back door goblin” that he just flushed a few minutes ago.
“Hey bud, that was great. You know how you thanked God for waffles?”
Blank stare. Blink. Blink. Wrinkle nose a bit. Blink. “Yeah. Of course I know. I said it. Waffles are awesome. ” Blink. Blank stare.
If this was the set of “Step Up” or “Bring it on”, there would be 5 other guys standing behind him, all dressed in urban swag that I just don’t understand. Their arms would all be crossed threateningly their chest, but in slightly different ways. Just staring at me, daring me to bring it.
I’ve been stared down by a few 8 year-olds in my day, but never over a prayer. Changes things a bit.
This is where I straighten him out, where I explain what is acceptable and what isn’t. Waffles, little boy, are……..
He’s still staring. And blinking.
……Perfectly acceptable. He may have trouble telling me what he likes, what he enjoys, and what he is thankful for, but that wasn’t him talking to me. He would never, ever, no matter what, be able to thank me for anything.
He loves waffles. Deeply. He eats them every morning, without fail. So when I told him to be honest and just talk to God, he did just that. He thanked God for something that is near and dear to him, for what he felt was important. And tasty.
As weird and unconventional as that was, I’d say we can put that one in the “W” column. Thanks, buddy, for being honest and sincere. You always remind us how much we can learn from you.