“Let’s ask Jesus to help us find Timothy. We ask Jesus to help us look at the right places, and to open our eyes to see clearly where Timothy is,” I prayed with Matthew this morning at Church of Christ the King. With some hesitation, I continued, “If it is Your will, let us find Matthew’s friend.”
I sat back down on the pews, wondering if we did the right thing. What if we didn’t get to locate Timothy? Does that mean to Matt then, that Jesus didn’t answer our prayer? What does he even understand by “will” – I’m guessing nothing at all… but is this one of those times when I should just say it anyway and let it simmer before I explain it when Matt finally asks? Or is this one of those times where it makes completely no sense to delve more deeply into the details?
As I think these thoughts, I look at the crowded church and just wondered what will be the outcome of our simple prayer – and what that outcome will mean to Matthew.
The morning had started off delightfully enough, when we ended up at Church of Christ the King (instead of our parish at Holy Spirit) to realise there was Children’s Liturgy today. Running into Matt’s godma (my girlfriend) at the Children’s Lit session was my happy moment; running into Matt’s classmate and good friend, Timothy, was his. The two boys were just adorable, chatting away at the simplest of things and laughing at… honestly, I don’t know what they were laughing at but they were just laughing all the time as these kids do.
The Holy Trinity was suitably explained to the children and then time came for us to return to the main church to join in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. So Matt and Timothy had to part ways – after plenty of invitations to “come sit in my car”, “sit with us in church”, “play together”, etc. – and they actually see each other every weekday at school.
Timothy left for his pews and we returned to where Daddy and Emma were. Then Matt decided he really wanted to sit with Timothy. But of course, we didn’t know where he was! Matt and I had already tried to have a lookaround when we were up front for the priest to bless the children but well, we simply couldn’t locate Timothy or his mum.
Back in the pews, our little boy was truly, sincerely getting upset. He just wanted to be with his friend. So this was when I said to him, “Let’s ask Jesus to help.”
Still wondering how the prayer would turn out – it’s really not a big deal, I know; it’s just I wondered why it wouldn’t be that Jesus would create an encounter on children’s terms and touch them that way.
Then I asked Matthew, “What do we do after we pray?”
“I don’t know.”
“We have to do the work. Now we start looking again. We’ve asked Jesus to help us look at the right places and to open our eyes to spot Timothy. Now we have to really look hard. Okay?”
He was excited and ready to look.
After communion, Daddy took Matt to walk around the church. They returned shortly after and still didn’t find Timothy yet. Then they went upstairs… and from there, Daddy finally spotted Timothy.
When Matthew saw his friend again, his face just lit up like he found the treasure of his day. He got to sit with him in the pews after all.
I wonder what this memory will mean to Matthew when I remember to tell him of it next time. I hope it ends up as a God Moment for him. I’m so grateful that our little prayer was answered favourably, if only just to let Matthew say a proper goodbye for the day, if only just to assure me that God is listening to even the smallest of prayers and if only just so we are reminded that sometimes, we have to do the hard work to look out for those who matter to us and if we’re the ones blessed enough to have someone come searching for us, that we may receive them with open hearts, big smiles and to make space for them in the pews of our life.
My dear boy, thank you for letting Mummy experience my God Moment of the Day.