Thank you for Jonah. Thank you for Jonah’s Mum and Dad for raising their little boy to know you. Thanks for his scripture teachers and his Sunday school teachers and his encouragers.
Hamish came to his drum lesson today. He was not himself. He said goodbye to Karen at the door and waited for her to drive away. Then he looked at me as though sizing me up.
“I didn’t practice this week cos I didn’t think it was fair. I was too sick to feel up to it the first week I had chicken pox.”
Wait until I told Emily. She was going to be super relieved. But Hamish continued,
“I talked to Emily last night and we talked about our practice routines …” going for vague, but got the point across. Paul will be relieved. They can’t have made an agreement that lets her go at it all day if he’s at school. The ‘possums’ were safe. 🙂
Then it came out of nowhere.
“Auntie Alciana, I know Dad won’t let you talk about God to me and Callum.”
I must have looked stunned.
“I was talking with my friend Jonah on Monday at school and telling him about Emily and Jasmine and Uncle Paul and he said we should pray for them.
“So I asked him ‘what’s that?’
“And he said it was talking to God and that ‘because he cares, he listens so I tell him things and ask him things and say thanks and stuff. Lets ask him to help ’em get better quick and not itch so much. Chicken Pox are horrible.’
“An’ he prayed to God right then and it was – WOW … !
“I told Mum and Dad that night that I prayed for the girls and Uncle Paul and Dad got really mad.
“‘What’s your aunt been telling you?’ he yelled, real loud. ‘I told her, Karen – none of this God rubbish! I made her promise that she would not say a word about God if we weren’t there to hear what she said…’ and he’d have kept on shouting if Mum hadn’t stopped him.
“I hadn’t thought of you praying before, so I asked Mum – ‘Wow! Do you think Aunt Alciana prays?’
“Mum said, ‘Probably.’ And then Dad started yelling again.
“So I stayed shut up this time.
“Finally, he asked me who told me about praying. When I said it was one of the kids from school, he asked me what he said – so I told him and then he just sighed and calmed down.
“‘See,’ says Mum, ‘its okay.’
“But Auntie Alcie, its not okay. Not now. Not since Thursday especially.”
I went to talk.
A wise little boy stopped me.
“Not yet! We got to pray about this separately so you can keep telling truth to Dad and I can keep coming to see you.” he pleaded.
“On Thursday, I told Jonah about Dad’s reaction. He got all quiet and he said,
“‘Did you get in trouble? Are you still allowed to talk to me?’
“That kinda shocked me. ‘Are there other people who aren’t allowed to talk about God?’
“‘All over the world,’ he says. ‘Here most people don’t get as mad as your Dad, but people think it’s weird.’
“‘I guess it is if you don’t think he’s there. But Auntie Alciana’s different. She’s smart, but makes sure you feel special and treats everyone as important. If she makes a promise she keeps it. And she keeps her temper – mostly. It’s like there’s something more important to her than just getting her own way all the time.’
“Then he told me about Jesus.”
He said he believed.
He wasn’t sure what to do about telling his parents but he wanted them to believe too.
Father, by now he had me in tears. I gave him a great big hug and he gave me one too and we held on tight for a long time.
I cleared my throat to talk.
Hamish jumped back in alarm. “Don’t talk!” He looked terrified.
“Come on let’s wash faces and have some morning tea. Make sure we’re ready when Mum comes to get you, hey?”
We were happily finishing morning tea when Karen collected Hamish.
“See you next week, Auntie Alciana!” he calls, just as though nothing but a drum lesson had passed between us.
Father, who’d have thought that the first of my family to seek you would be Joel’s ten-year-old son to whom I am forbidden to speak of you. Thank you for his life, for his hope and for his friend. Please strengthen his friend for the task you have prepared for him and provide other teachers, too, for Hamish. Please prepare Hamish for the rocky path ahead of him.