This past Sunday, the kids and I drove the hubby down to Brownsville where he has been working for the past 2-weeks. It's about 90-minutes from where we live and since he and his legal team pretty much have to pull all-nighters during the week as they prepare for each new day of trial--it's just easier for him to stay near the courthouse in a hotel (which is NO FUN at all). It's always hard on everyone when Daddy is away for work. But the good news--he's over halfway through with this trial and before too long, he'll be back home with us again.
And so after we arrived at the hubby's home away from home a/k/a his hotel--and we said our good-byes, I loaded the kiddos back in the car and we began our drive back home. I put on a movie for the kids and they were good to go. About halfway through our drive back home, we came upon a pretty bad wreck on the highway. An 18-wheeler had flipped over onto its side on one of the overpasses and was smashed up against a cement wall. As we slowly made our way past the scene of the accident, Noah became really worried and concerned about the driver. It was obvious from the way the truck was laying on it's side and crushed up against the concrete wall that the driver must have been hurt pretty badly. The truck was apparently carrying a load of all sorts of fruits and vegetables because they were strewn all over the highway.
As we passed the wreck site, Noah started asking a lot of questions about how something like this could happen and what all the rescue workers were doing. If the man was going to be okay? But what was really touching...after I tried my best to explain what was going on and how the fireman and EMT's were doing everything they could to help the driver --Noah got really quiet in the back seat and I could tell he was thinking about it. And then he said, "Mommy, let's say a prayer for that man." I told him I thought that was a wonderful idea and asked him if he would offer the prayer since I was driving the car.
And so he asked Taylor and Gavin to fold their arms (which they did) and then Noah folded his arms, bowed his little head and offered the sweetest and most sincere prayer. He pleaded with Heavenly Father to please help the man driving the truck and all the rescue workers who were trying to help him. My heart was pounding pretty hard as I listened to his prayer and I had trouble fighting back my tears. Tears of gratitude. What a special moment this was for me to hear my sweet son offer this sincere prayer -- and even more touching--that he thought of this all on his own. I didn't have to remind him or suggest it. Yes, a very touching experience to see him at the tender age of 7 exhibit such a strong testimony in the power of prayer.
Afterwards when we arrived home and the kids were playing in the backyard-- I texted Jody and told him what happened and how Noah had prayed for the man in the truck. I told him that we must be doing something right as parents...that just maybe some of the things we are trying to teach our children about prayer and the Gospel are sinking in after all. :-)
This experience was a reminder to me that what we teach our children (particularly as it relates to the Gospel and living a Christ-centered life) truly matters. As we patiently strive to teach them daily how to be charitable, honest, kind, faithful human beings-- these teachings will slowly but surely take root in their hearts and they will begin to sprout spiritually in their own time. Our children are listening and watching us --more than we may realize. We are their very best teachers. It's our sacred duty as parents to continue to teach and prepare them for the world they will be entering and contributing to someday.
"Children learn love and service from their parents. We who have been entrusted with sons and daughters have a sacred duty, for we are the ones God has appointed to encircle today's children with love and the fire of faith and an understanding of who they are."
--M. Russell Ballard
As a mother I am truly thankful for my son's righteous example this day and for the testimony he has developed with regard to the power of prayer. While we will most likely never know what happened to the poor man who was in this accident--it's comforting to know that a 7-year old boy was concerned about his well-being and had the faith to take those concerns to the Lord on his behalf.
I pray because I can't help myself...
I pray because I'm helpless...
I pray because the need flows out of me all the time--
waking and sleeping....
It doesn't change God--it changes ME.