“Mom, when I pray can I ask God for ANYTHING?” asked Charlie one morning.
Mom pulled her head out of the washing machine. “Yeah, I guess so” she said.
“Dear God, please send me something cool today” Charlie said to the ceiling. He ran to the front window and peeked out. He waited. And waited. And waited.
Mom walked past carrying the laundry. “Charlie honey, sometimes God takes a little bit longer than we would like to answer our prayers.”
Charlie shook his head and waited some more. And a little more. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang.
“It’s the mail man!” Charlie shouted, jumping up and down.
Mom opened the door. “Charlie, you have something!”
Charlie tore open the package. “It’s my favourite sweets from Gramps! Thanks God!” He ran upstairs, crawled into his bed and began munching.
That night, Mom read Charlie the Bible story of when Jesus fed a huge crowd with just 2 loaves of bread and five fishes.
“Jesus, we thank you for this miracle, and ask that you feed all the hungry people in the world. Especially the new kid across the street. Amen” she said.
“Is he hungry?” Charlie asked, puzzled.
“He just looks a little skinny” said Mom.
The next morning, Charlie took his lunch to eat in the front yard. The new kid across the street came out to play football. He was bigger than Charlie, and sort of mean-looking.
Charlie took a deep breath. “Hey. You can have my sandwich if you want it” and he passed it to the new kid.
“I don’t want it” said the kid. “I’m Ned. Here” he said, throwing the ball to Charlie.
After a while, Ned went in. Charlie sneaked up to their front door, and left his apple on the doormat.
Later that day, the doorbell rang. Charlie’s mom turned off the vacuum, and opened the door. It was Ned’s mom from across the street.
“Hello, my name’s Beth. Thank you for inviting us for dinner. Charlie said you had lots of food” she said.
“Dinner?” asked Charlie’s Mom glancing nervously at the plates in the sink.
Charlie whispered “We’re helping God feed the hungry. It’s ok Mom, remember the loaves and the fishes?”
Mom smiled and shook her head laughing. “OK Charlie! Now, do you think God can multiply frozen lasagne?!”
Charlie and Ned watched TV while their Moms’ prepared the dinner. They all sat around the table to eat. “This is delicious!” said Ned tucking in. They chatted and ate until it became dark outside. “Bedtime Ned” said Beth.
“It was lovely to meet you” said Charlie’s Mom as the guests were leaving.
“Thank you for tonight. When we moved, I wanted to meet my new neighbours. But I’m a little shy, so you’ve made it easy for me” said Beth. “You must come around to our house for dinner soon.”
At bedtime, Charlie prayed “Thank you God for my magazine, for feeding us, and for new friends like Ned and Beth.”
“And for answering our prayers in unexpected ways” said Mom. She tucked him in, kissed him goodnight and gently closed the bedroom door.
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