I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
It is a Sunday afternoon on a weekend my children are spending at their father's. I've been housecleaning since getting home from church. It's so much easier to accomplish when little ones aren't underfoot.
I glance at the clock. Only four. Good! Daniel and Sarah won't be dropped off until five, so I have plenty of time to vacuum the upstairs bedrooms. I am eager to get this last chore out of the way so I can start dinner.
Up the stairs, lugging the cumbersome vacuum, I go. Plug it in. Flip the switch.
And, the stillness gives way like a levee in a flood to the motor's deafening roar.
I tackle my bedroom first. Pushing and pulling the Hoover over every carpet fiber. Maneuvering around furniture. Coaxing dirt from the corners and beneath the bed.
Done! Finally! I turn off the noisy engine, unplug it, and begin rolling it to the next room.
That's when I hear the sounds . . .
Faint, but incessant knocking on the kitchen door. Muffled cries of, "Mom! Mom!"
It can't be! It's only 4:30! What in the world is going on?
As if responding to a three-alarm fire, I dash down the stairs and race to the kitchen door.
The tear-streaked, terrified faces of my seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter behind the glass window of the locked door wrench my heart in two. Hastily, I unlock and open the door to gather them in a reassuring embrace.
"Mom," Daniel sobs, "we called and called and banged on the door. Why didn't you hear us calling you?"
"I'm so sorry, honey," I say. "I was upstairs vacuuming and I couldn't hear a thing. Why did dad drop you so early without letting me know?"
"He said he had things to do," Sarah sniffles.
And, in my mind, I entertain some choice words for which I know I will need to ask forgiveness.
"Well, you're both home now, and I'm here. Let's dry those eyes and turn the frowns upside down."
"Mom," Daniel says solemnly, wiping his face, "promise me this won't happen again."
I look right into his eyes, so earnest and pleading. I so want to give my word that never, never would I ever let this occur twice. But, it is beyond my control. I can only hope and pray I'll always be there when they call.
"Daniel," I tell him, "I will do my level best."
Was there ever a time when your parent let you down? When you let your child down?
Will you join me in prayer?
We are so grateful, Father, that You hear us when we cry to You and that You answer us in love. Thank You for always being there to listen to our prayers. We know You will never let us down. Amen.
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