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"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4
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So often my children are my greatest teachers! This experience happened less than two weeks ago, and Noah continues to be a true Little Man of God.
"That 'Praying' Family"
by Susan Farr Fahncke
It was the tail end of our little family getaway, just my three children and myself. We were tired and aching for home and our own beds. (Okay, that was just me - actually, the kids were thrilled to be anywhere but school.) We checked in to Circus Circus for our last "hotel night", so the kids could have a memorable final night and I could spend one more evening trying to keep them from wandering too far from my sight. I was tired and cranky.
Our first stop was the restaurant, four starving Utahns, our stomachs growling and most of us growling at each other. (Or was that just me?) When the food finally arrived, I reached for my napkin and watched two of my three kids reach for their forks. Glancing over at my five-year old, I was surprised to see him sitting quietly. (He does NOTHING quietly.)
"We need to pray." My little one told me, his clear blue eyes telling me he was very serious about this. My other children immediately grasped the situation and began to giggle at the thought of a family prayer right here in Reno, Nevada, right in the middle of a circus/casino/restaurant. "My turn," Noah told us, and solemnly closed his eyes and began his prayer.
I felt a giggle coming on too and had to suppress it. I knew we were a spectacle, not only for most likely being the only people who ever prayed in this place, but also because Noah is deaf, and his prayer was entirely in sign language, and he is EXPRESSIVE. I kept focused on him and my giggles were quickly replaced with tenderness as my heart swelled with pride. Noah blessed the food and gave thanks for it, but he also blessed his mommy, his kitty, the hotel, his fork, trains in general, his grandparents, our car's tires (maybe they needed it!), and pretty much anything and anyone he had ever met.
I felt the people seated around us grow silent as Noah prayed and as I watched his chubby little hands talking to God, tears filled my eyes. What an angel! How blessed I am to be the mother of this incredible little spirit! The silence around us was magnificent as everyone in the restaurant silently watched a five-year old offer a prayer. I wondered how many of them had ever witnessed a prayer in sign language, let alone in this unlikely place. I felt the Lord's presence with us and a warmth and sense of immense joy settled around me.
As the prayer continued, I realized what an example we, as a family, were setting. I felt ashamed that I hadn't thought of praying as we normally do at each meal, and the scripture "...A little child shall lead them," was strong on my heart as I watched Noah earnestly blessing everything important in his world.
As the "amens" rounded our table, I stole a peek at the tables around us. An elderly man with Elvis sideburns mouthed "amen" to me and his smile told me Noah's prayer had touched more than my own heart. Everyone at the restaurant seemed to sense the same peace and it was with quiet reverence the meals were eaten. As the man with sideburns passed our table on the way out, he gave Noah a thumbs up - the universal sign for "good job". Noah grinned at the man, spaghetti sauce on his cheeks and I know he had no idea the impact he had on the man. I know it will be a while before that man forgets Noah or his prayer.
After dinner, it fully hit me what a difference my little guy's prayer had made in this corner of the world. A circus act was beginning and the kids and I crowded in to see. As I held Noah up for a better view, a lady and several children were crowded in next to us. Glancing at me, the lady put her arm across my shoulders and said "Oh! You're that praying family!" She squeezed my shoulders in a little hug and went on to tell me how adorable Noah was.
I looked at my golden boy, smiled and said, "Yes, we're 'that praying family'." I couldn't think of anything better to be. That praying family.
Susan Farr Fahncke copyright 2003
I am the founder and editor of 2TheHeart and I love my job! I am also the author of "Angel's Legacy", co-author and contributor to many other books! Read more of my work on my personal page at 2TheHeart: http://www.2theheart.com/susan_fahncke
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The Letter Box:
I was compelled to write about today's story by Ronnie Bray, as well as the poem by Linda Newman.
It was a delight to read something from Ronnie, as it's been a while since I have seen anything by him. Ronnie has written the most profound story I have read in a long time. His choice of words and the way he described the singing event, all blended so well that I honestly felt I was there. I have a deep interest in music and song so this story appealed to me greatly. It is a work of written art when the writer succeeds in making his readers feel the intensity of the moment described.
Linda's poem was so touching, her words so heart-rending, that I found my eyes tearing. Such a plea, written from the point of view of a nursing home resident, almost broke my heart. Words are so powerful when they have an effect as this poem did.
Thank you, Ronnie. Thank you Linda. Both of you made today's 2theHeart very special. And thanks, Susan, for these two 2theHeart treasures.
awww...Linda...that is BEAUTIFUL......if that won't bring tears to your eyes, I don't know what will... and to Ronnie....the line in your story....where you say...No one moved until their humanity had returned long after the magic ceased....WOW....what wonderous words...that line alone, took my breath away.... Sandy Smith
What a lucky duck I am to possess a portfolio of your musings and bits of your remarkably penned life snatched up so romantically and eloquently. I often wonder if my lovely gray wolf has made his way to your abode to grace your door. I sent him last fall with instructions to help you summon up a few Montana meanderings. You know, the electrifying finale to your memoirs. Thank you for sharing yet another of those unforgettable times as only you can, a precious melodious moment that conjured up shivers down our spines with every "Summertime" trill. Your fans have missed you something awful, Ronnie dear. Kath
Ronnie's story and Sandra's poem were both uplifting and comforting. John and I returned this week from a holiday where a friend we travelled with took ill and died within 2 days. Its been very tiring and upsetting (but what a wonderful way to go, short, sweet and having a good time), and reading such things on 2theHeart is balm to the soul.
Your poem is lovely. Years ago when I was in good health, I used to visit some of the nursing home patients. Indeed, they needed to know someone cared about them. My Bluebird group used to make tray favors for special days like Valentine's Day, or Easter. Sometimes they were invited to sing Christmas Carols. We all received blessings from these visits.
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