“Watch me, Mom!” Samuel called.
“Miss Shawnelle, watch this!” beckoned his friend.
Gabe’s cry was different. “Mom, something’s wrong with my eye.” And while the other little guys continued to somersault and karate chop on the tramp, Gabe dangled his legs over the side until his toes touched ground, dropped, and shuffled across the lawn.
By the time he got to me, his eye was red. Swollen. Irritated.
“Gabe, what did you do?”
“I don’t know,” he said. And he started to cry. Bawl. Wail. My never-let-them-see-you-cry Gabe let loose.
I thought the tears were good, to wash out whatever was in there. But a moment later, when I lifted his head from my chest, I was shocked. The white of his eye was bulging and there was a thick, pink, fleshy rim that looked like it had been inflated with a pump.
“I’d better call Daddy,” I said. “We’ll get you to the doctor.”
Lonny was at the library, just a block away. I comforted Gabe while we waited, rocking him back and forth, rubbing small circles on his back. When his pain increased, I stopped rocking, put my hand on his back, closed my eyes and began to pray.A moment later I felt a little hand, warm and soft, on top of mine.
I opened my eyes to find Gabe’s friend. His eyes were closed and his mouth moved in sweet, silent prayer. He’d noticed me praying, left the trampoline, and came to pray for his friend.I didn’t know when I’d been so blessed.
Later that evening, when Gabe was in bed, eyes slathered with a steroid to counter an allergic reaction to who-knows-what, my heart was filled with gratitude.Thank you, Lord, that Gabe is safe. Thank you that his vision is okay. Thank you for the optometrist who made yet another Eliasen-late-night-emergency-eye call.
And thank you, Lord for our little praying friend.Lord, may each of my boys always have praying friends. And may each boy always be a praying friend.