“I talked to God today.” My son’s small voice stopped me as I tried to quietly sneak out of his room. After tucking him under his covers for the third time since he had gone to bed, I had hoped that I wouldn’t wake him. He had been unusually cooperative about settling into his bed tonight and now his soft little voice caught me.
“I talked to God today, Mommy.”
Brushing this comment off as another attempt by a 3-year-old to stay awake a little longer, I said, “That’s nice, Honey, now go to sleep.”
As I turned again to leave the room, he spoke up again, a little more insistent. “I talked to God today. I really did.”
There were no lights on in the room except for the light of the blinking Christmas lights. He insisted on keeping these in his room long after the holidays were over. They cast a funny orange-green light on his face, and I could see that he was serious. The mischievous twinkle in his eye that usually lets me know that I am in for a bout of his wild imagination wasn’t there this time. This time he wanted to really tell me something. I walked back to his bed and helped him sit up. “So you talked to God today, did you?” I asked, “Where were you when you talked to Him?”
“I was right here in my room. God comes and sits on my bed sometimes. We talk.” He said this as though it was the most common thing in the world.
“What do you talk about?” I asked.
“My day. I thank Him for my buddies at church, for my pizza, and for my orange bedroom. Sometimes God holds my hand.”
My heart started to melt inside my chest. As a church-going family, we try to teach our three children about God, but lately I had been feeling like God had not been around when I needed help. I had not opened my Bible for a very long time. It seemed like the busy craziness of life had taken over, and God wasn’t around to help me sort it out. My husband and I hadn’t prayed together in months. While we prayed with our children before meals, we didn’t make an effort to pray with them about their lives or their worries. Now here was my 3-year-old talking to God and holding hands with Him like this happens every day. I began to feel a little twinge of guilt.
“How do you know that it is God you’re talking to, Honey?” I asked.
“Because I asked Him to come talk to me, Mommy. That’s all you have to do, you know. God lives in heaven, but anytime I’m lonely he comes here into my room and talks to me.”
“Do you see God when He is here or do you just pretend?” I questioned.
“I see Him. He has dark eyes, big hands and He is a little taller than Daddy. He’s nice. Is it okay to talk to Him?”
I almost cried. “Yes! It is wonderful that you can talk to God! You know that God loves and cares about you very much, and I am so glad that you can spend time with Him. Maybe Mommy should try it sometime. What do you think?” I asked, barely holding my tears in check.
“Yeah,” he said, suddenly sleepy. He yawned and lay down, clutching his blanket to his cheek. “I’m tired, Mommy. Good night. See you in the morning.”
Bending down to kiss his cheek, still sticky from his spaghetti dinner, I thought what a lucky little boy he was. I was spending so much time waiting for God to come to help me out and to comfort me while all the time my son had been having quiet conversations with God right here in his own room. “All you have to do is ask, Mommy.” He had said it with great assurance that it was that simple. I had to believe him.
I tiptoed out of the room and left the door open a crack. The blinking Christmas lights illuminated his face. He looked so content and peaceful. Love and thanksgiving surged up inside me. I stopped to watch him, hoping that I would never forget this moment. Tomorrow he would go back to being the messy-faced little boy--jumping and climbing and laughing--that he usually was. But tonight he had been my teacher.
As I went to bed that night, instead of picking up a book to read or turning on the TV, I humbly bowed my head and asked God to come and sit with me for a while and maybe hold my hand as we talked. That is really all it takes, you know.
Previously published in Purpose, 2001
All praises, honor, and glory belong to GOD. Amen. This is a wonderful piece of writing and a precious one too. “All you have to do is ask, Mommy.” These words have touched me. Blesses are you to have a wonderful child. Truly we learn so many things from our children.
May God bless you and yours, amen.