I am back from my week in DC (really had a great time, and even better once I stopped checking my work email!). I spent the whole week talking about Church History as Family Stories (really far more interesting than you might think). While I was there, my 5th grade son was dealing with a family story of his own. He has been good friends all year with a little boy in his class named Jonathan. Jonathan's mom is about 10 years younger than I am, a single parent, and also has a little 3 year old girl. There is no dad in the picture at all, but I know Jonathan's other relatives help out (the mom works as a third shift waitress at the Waffle House). I first met Jonathan's mom last fall, when she has just completed her third shift, but spent the whole day on a field trip with a bunch of 5th graders. (Those things always exhaust me - but I felt I had no room to complain since I had actually had a full night's sleep the night before.)
Last week, Jonathan's mom was in a very serious car accident. Until a couple days ago, they didn't know if she would make it. It's the end of school - so lots of field trips. Since I was in DC, my mom went with the 5th grade to the Wed morning minor league baseball game (the Tourists - says something about my town!). Jonathan came that day, and was just really having a tough time (understandably). My little boy Caleb and their friend Marquis were trying to talk with him. Jonathan said he wasn't sure if he wanted to live - he thought maybe he might just want to die, too. Caleb told him that things would be fine, and that he would grow up at get married and have kids (this does give me some insight into what my son wants in life). Marquis, apparently very active at one of the black churches in town, asked Jonathan if he had prayed about it. Jonathan said he had never prayed and didn't know how. So - Marquis and Caleb helped him (with Marquis taking the lead). Marquis told Jonathan just to talk to God - so Jonathan said, "Lord! What?!" Marquis told him that was not the level of respect the Lord and Savior deserved, and they were going to do this again.
Now - my mom is the one who has told me all this. She's trying to keep from crying because of this little boy's situation, but she said it was one of the funniest things she'd seen in a while.
So, Marquis gets Jonathan to fold his hands and just tells him what to pray. He tells him to pray for his mom to get better, and that if she doesn't get better, to forgive Jonathan for his sins so that he can be in heaven with her one day. Apparently, all this therapy and coaching as only 5th grade boys can give did help Jonathan feel better.
And I, along with so many others, am so thankful that Jonathan's mom is doing better and will even be able to come home in a few days.