And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. Ephesians 6:18
Years ago, when Logan and Grant were small, we had a dog. His name was Charlie Beagle, and he was a wonderful fellow. But Charlie had a bad case of wanderlust. It wasn’t his fault (I can still hear my grandfather’s voice, “Don’t make a house pet out of a huntin’ dog, Baby Girl”), but his wanderings caused our family worry and stress.
One Christmas Eve day, Charlie Beagle got a hankering to hit the road. We were sitting around our Douglas fir, singing Christmas carols, when Charlie went a-scratchin’ at the door. Little-boy-Logan let him out. When he did, a December wind pushed its way into our home. Outside, snowflakes pelted from a gray sky. It was not a romantic snow. It was ominous, cold, and hard.
After a minute or so,
called for Charlie. Charlie didn’t come. Logan
When a half-hour passed and Charlie still had not returned, our boys pressed their faces against the cold glass of the living room window. An hour later, there was still no sign of Charlie.
“We have to go find him,” Grant said. “Please, Dad, let’s go look.”
Lonny and I bundled our two sons and we climbed into the minivan. We drove around the neighborhood, the community, up and down Highway 61. But Charlie was gone.
Logan and Grant cried as they sat on the floor of our foyer. Lonny and I tugged boots from their feet and mittens from their hands. Their cheeks were red. Maybe from the tears. Maybe from the cold.
“I don’t understand,” Grant said. “Why would he go? He has a good life here.”
“He’s a beagle, Grant,” Lonny said. “And sometimes a beagle just has to run. He doesn’t think things out. He just goes.”
“Well, I’ll pray for him,” said Grant. Then he went to his knees. He bowed his head and folded his little hands. “Lord, I know You love Charlie Beagle. And he’s lost. You told the animals to go to the ark. Help Charlie find his way, too.”
A couple hours later, when the night had grown darker, colder, and the winds blew harsh, we heard the bay of a beagle. The boys rushed to the foyer and opened the door. Charlie Beagle entered. Ragged. Tired. Frosted whiskers. But Charlie was home.
I think of that night often as those two little boys are now teens. Sometimes it seems like my son wants to wander away from home. Away from what we’ve taught. Away from what he feels confines him. It seems, to me, like he wants to walk headlong into the cold, harsh wind.
But it’s okay. I know that my son is just stretching and trying to find his way. I believe that he, like Charlie, will find his way home.
Because my son is a child of the Living God. And the same God who heard that little boy’s prayer also hears the prayers of his Mama.