There are lots of reasons for believing in God. As a child it is sometimes difficult to remember one particular incident or moment when we actually decided there is a God and are aware of his presence. As a very young boy, my mother took me to church with her. My father brought us to the actual building and let us off and would read the paper or run errands and come back to pick us up after the service was over. I had some semblance of belief, and would follow the Sunday school lessons and learn about Christian history from the bible. Though I was very young, I actually do remember the time that cemented the belief that prayers could be answered. I was home on a dreary afternoon and was listening to a big argument between my folks. I don’t recall the content of the argument or why they were upset. I used to often think they argued because of something I had done to upset the balance. During their discussion I can remember Dad escalating his intensity of anger as he did from time to time. Sometimes it would end in his getting in his car and driving off spinning his tires and sometimes it would slow to a rumble or roar and he’d go outside and work on something near the house. This particular day, he went into a full rage and began throwing things around the house that broke or broke something they collided with. Our house was extremely small, being just three tiny rooms downstairs, and an attic. The volume of their argument was louder and scarier than usual. I knelt down by the overstuffed chair that took up about a quarter of the space in the living room, feeling the walls shaking and objects falling around me. I recall clasping my hands and saying, “Please God, make him stop, please make him stop God.” No sooner than I had prayed for it to stop, it nearly instantly stopped. There had to be a God listening, to answer my prayer so fast. I definitely believed and hoped he’d always hear me. There was still a gloomy cloud over the house and broken things to be picked up and replaced, but the mood was getting more tolerable. My mother was picking things up and before too long my father was apologizing to me and trying to calm me down. It was hard to trust how long things would be calm before something else would upset Dad, but it was nice to see him in a better mood. Even as a child, I was always on the alert for changes in atmosphere while listening to the conversations between my folks or visitors that dropped in. If everyone was seemingly happy, I’d go into the woods just out of sight of the house, and sigh in relief that no one was arguing. I didn’t want to be the one to cause any upset. I am still thankful for my answered prayers.
(c) Rick Wyman