Once upon a time there was a little boy, three years old. His name was Stephen and he had big blue eyes and soft, wispy blond curls . Many times he would add numbers so fast his mother couldn't believe he was so young. That white-blond crazy hair and mathematical mind made the boy's mother think of Albert Einstein. Stephen would probably grow up to love math and science like Einstein. Like his grandpa, too.
Little Stephen could entertain himself for hours by playing with his "pencil guys" --two pencils who talked to each other, played together, did karate chops, ate Raisin Bran, and rode tricycles with him, one in each hand on the handlebars. He would get sweaty and dirty from playing all day, and his mother would give him a bath against his will. Not that he fussed much, ever, about things, but baths weren't his favorite thing.
At bedtime Stephen would leave his pencil guys on the nightstand, and his mother would read him a story. David and Goliath. The Three Little Pigs. Bobby's Zoo. (He memorized every word of Bobby's Zoo.) Then the mother, tired from a day with three children, but not too tired to pray, snuggled next to him. She loved to hear him pray.
" Sank You, Shee-sus, for a good day, for "Benmin and Swawah" (Benjamin and Sarah) to pway wiff. Sank You for Mommy and Daddy dat dey yuv me. Sank You for Waisin Bwan. Sank You for Yady (Lady the dog). Sank You for dyin' on da cwoss for my shins." The mother tried not to giggle.
Stephen would open his eyes after the "AAAAAAY-MEN!" and his mother would stroke those soft curls again. And kiss his whip-cream cheeks and say, "I love you." And he'd say, "I yuv you more." And she'd said, "I love you more than you love me." And he'd say, "No, I yuv YOU more dan you yuv me." And she'd say, "That's impossible. A little boy never loves his mommy more than she loves him. Goodnight, baby." And he would say, 'Doodnight, Mommy, but I am not a baby anymore. I'm a big boy."
Someday, she thought, this little boy --who was convinced he was a big boy then--will be all grown up. He won't play with pencil people anymore. He won't call us Mommy and Daddy. He will be driving a truck and taking math classes. And yes, he will notice girls. He will take a bath without being told because he knows that girls appreciate guys who smell good. And they don't appreciate guys who stink.
The mother, even though she did not want to think about her children growing up and leaving her
to make homes of their own, knew the time would eventually come. She wanted each one of her
babies to grow up and find a special person would would love and adore and take care of them, and
give her grandbabies (dare she think about that?) and follow dreams that God put in their hearts to serve Him. Overseas, perhaps, with orphans?
Stephen would need a godly wife just like Ben would. Sarah would need a godly husband. Oh, dear, the mother tried so hard not to imagine her children as adults being whisked away by someone who couldn't possibly love them as much as she and their daddy did. The mother consoled herself with the thought that the best years of her own life were the past five years when someone found her and loved her and made her his wife and they had these beautiful babies together. Didn't the mother want that for her children? Yes, she did. Slooooooowwwwly, though. Take your time, Future. Take your blessed time getting here.
The mother heard a new song on the radio by a singer named Wayne Watson. The song made her cry. Not just cry, but sob, to the point she had to leave the room in case her little boys saw her tears and became upset. "Don't cwy, Mommy, " Stephen would say, "It's aw-wight."
The song expressed what was in her heart when she prayed for her sons.
She imagined another mother somewhere in the world tonight tucking her baby girl into bed and asking Jesus to take His time growing her up, but in the meantime, praying for a godly man who
would love her even half as much as her parents did. Was that little girl blonde, too, or redheaded, or brunette? Was she smart and funny and gentle and kind? Was she picking up her mother's charms and swinging around in her daddy's arms? Did she love puppy dogs and making sand castles? Did she play with pencils, too? Would she love Jesus with all her heart and soul? Would she
be thoughtful and sweet like Stephen? Would certain songs make her cry, and Stephen would put his arms around her and say, " Don't cry, Honey. It's all right" ?
The mother would drift, almost every night, into thoughts of too many tomorrows coming way too soon. She wanted to keep holding onto her babies forever, but had to hold onto Jesus with a trust that everything would be okay
She believed that there was someone in the world whom God was fashioning to become the one who would complete her child, make him feel whole and happy and alive and ready to serve the Lord, her hand in his, no matter the challenges of life.
She was somewhere in the world. But where? Hold on to Jesus, baby, wherever you are.