Ruby sat at the table, She slouched over her cereal bowl.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” I asked.
“I don’t have any friends. I’m the only neighborhood kid left. All my other friends have moved away for the summer,” she said, brown eyes sad.
I know this. It makes me sad, too. Growing up, I can’t ever remember not having kids to play with wherever I lived. In Portland, it was the next-door neighbors. In Clackamas, it was a friend across the street. Sure, they took vacations and went away for awhile. But they didn’t move.
“Have you prayed about it? Jesus said we don’t have because we don’t ask.” A lot of times we whine and complain instead of seeking God about stuff. Not you, of course. Just hypothetically.
“Lots of times,” she said. She slurped up another sludgy bite of cereal.
“Have you gotten an answer?” I asked
She shook her head.
“Are you mad at God about that?”
“Yes,” she admitted.
Well, that was easy. Now what?
“Sometimes we don’t get what we want right away. Remember when I told you about how your dad and I wanted a baby?”
“Yeah,” she said, bored. “You prayed about it and poof! there was Zac, then poof! I came along,” she said.
It took a little more than poof, mind you, but that’s the general idea.
“God didn’t deny us children. He just waited for the right babies to come along. Sometimes when our prayers don’t get answered right away, it isn’t no. It’s not yet.”
She looked at me. She didn’t like that suggestion.
“How about we pray about it? The Bible says where two or more are gathered together, God is in the midst of them. You and I are two. Chloe makes three,” I said, petting the muppet-cat at our feet.
I took her small hand. We prayed. We asked for little girls Ruby’s age, 8-10, with nice families, to move into our neck of the woods.
Now, we wait. What to do in the meantime? Make the most of what we have. In Ruby’s case, that means writing stories, making up songs, playing in our “cool” tub (the unconnected hot tub), planting flowers, building with legos, drawing, riding her bike and enjoying the sunny freedom of summer. It’s time to get to know her dad and Zac better, maybe even learn to make jam. We can bloom where we’re planted even as we wait for the good things God has for us.
“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:20