Stories that Shine on an Awesome God

Partial to Kids

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

The year was 1954.

Clara raised her three children in the apartment above the garage while Hartman, her husband, ground out hours of labor establishing a business below. Most weeks the help was paid more than the boss.

Image of Roses

Late at night with their three little ones tucked into bed, the two of them sat at the kitchen table and calculated income by lamplight. Barely enough. Just like her depression-era childhood when her family of nine gathered around a table to eat popcorn and milk. The only food in the house. Giving up was not in Clara’s genes.

Hartman shouldered another day’s work. Clara prayed and sang while she cooked, cleaned, and loved her babes. At dusk, she heard her children’s prayers.

“Dear Jesus.” Six year old Bruce’s innocent voice diffused a warmth that radiated her heart, setting it aglow. “Dear Jesus, we need more money.” The word had gotten out. “Please give Daddy one hundred thousand dollars.”

Image of Prayer-Boy kneeling at bed

Bruce finished his prayer and crawled between the sheets. “That’s lots of money, huh, Momma?”

“Really, sweetie, it’s not a lot of money, not with what your Daddy is trying to do.”

Another day passed. Clara spent it deep in thought. God, I know you can answer my little boy’s prayer, but how?

Another night. Another bedtime.

“Dear Jesus, Daddy needs lots and lots of money. Please give him a million, zillion dollars.” Bruce had been thinking his own thoughts.

His eyes, full of trust, opened. His earnest face turned to hers. “I know Jesus can answer my prayer, Momma. I know he can.”

“When Jesus gives us this money where do you want him to put it?” Perhaps logic would prepare him for disappointment. Prepare her.

“Oh, he can put it back by the rose-bush. Back in the property behind the garage.” He waved his hand. “Back there.” Catching his hand, she kissed right over his grubby fingernails and hugged her only son goodnight.

The year was 2009.

Bruce hunkered over a sheaf of estate documents, wills and such, with the names of Clara and Hartman written all over them. Both parents gone within one year. Gone, yet the impact of their full lives on their loved ones, the prayers they had answered for students struggling to get an education, and the endless donations and personal time they had spent for the good of others would never be forgotten.

Bruce sighed as he leafed through the papers and shouldered this new responsibility. It was huge, but giving up was not in his genes.

A lease contract caught his eye. One with a substantial, steady flow of income on a piece of what was now his and his sisters’ property. His parents had bought it when he was six or seven. He couldn’t remember.

image of Roses

“Want to buy this piece of land behind your garage?” Their neighbor had asked his dad. “Just make the payments and in a few years, you’ll have credit and can get a loan to finish the purchase.”

Bruce took off his glasses and brushed the moisture from his eyes. Like a child at his mother’s knee, he reached out in humble trust.

“That was your answer, wasn’t it, God? That piece of property, back behind the rosebush, that land was your answer. Never thought of it before, but right now, when I need it most, you remind me. You open my eyes. Now I see just how you answered a little boy’s prayer.”

 

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10:15

Image of Jesus and children

Comments on: "Partial to Kids" (3)

  1. Brings tears to my eyes too….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. slysb@frontier.com said:

    This is precious and lovely Rita. Thank you and Bruce for sharing it. We treasure these answered prayers, don’t we. God is so very good to us. Reading a little story like this is so uplifting. I just love it.

    Sweet thoughts, Sable

    Like

  3. Breta White said:

    Thank you, Rita. Thank you, Bruce. What a timely message! What an awesome God and what a godly heritage. If you don’t mind I would like to share a current events story from my life that has the same theme–long range answers, godly heritage.

    Two weeks ago, I was really stressed over our finances. When one has cut all the corners they can see and carefully worked out a budget and there is no way that income matches need, then what? Like Bruce’s parents, I’ve been trying to make the difference in children’s lives. One in particular has added multiple financial challenges lately. So I wrote it all out and “mailed” it to God. I spent about a week struggling to trust that my “mail” was received. I added a page to my prayer notebook simply titled “God’s Thousand Ways” where I can record all the financial ways that God provides for my needs. Almost immediately, I had several simple answers and then…

    On Thursday, the 11th, I had a call from a lawyer in Tyler, Texas. “We are looking for the heirs of West Martin Smith.”

    “Yes, that was my grandfather.”

    “Did you know that your grandfather held mineral rights to a 26 acre farm in Marion County, Texas?”

    “Yes, I know that.”

    Then followed a half hour of intense questioning as to what other heirs might exist, Where my mother’s probated will might be, where my sister’s death certificate is recorded. By Friday noon, all the legal papers had been signed and notarized. I should have a lease check before this week is out from a company planning to drill for oil on a piece of property near Jefferson, Texas.. Additional monies to be accrued if and when they find oil.

    That may or may not be a long range answer to the letter I mailed. I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but at least I will get through another month and my strength has been renewed to believe the rest will be covered in God’s own way, and in His own time.

    Breta

    Like

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