Running late. The scent of fresh ground coffee fills the kitchen. I pour almost-boiling water into my French press coffee pot and wait. I grab a sweater and stuff the laptop into my book bag. Then with strong coffee in my travel mug, I head for the lake.
Car windows down, spring surrounds me, fresh and uncooked. I see gentle waves sparkling like diamonds in the early morning sunshine. A female mallard dives head-first-rump-in-the-air, fishing.
I park in the beach lot facing the lake. Then I slide from the driver’s seat to the passenger side and stretch out my legs. Eager to write, I open the laptop.
I’m barely settled when childish laughter leads a dull, hollow thud. A yellow ball bounces off the right front tire. “Daniel!” The female voice comes from behind. I see a flash of red hair pass my right shoulder. Then a freckled face appears and two hands grasping the ball.
“I’m sorry,” he says softly.
His mother stands behind him, hands firm on his shoulders as if he might float away. “We’re sorry,” she echoes.
“Whatcha doin’?” Daniel asks.
“Writing,” I answer.
He bounces the ball, fumbles, bends down and grabs it before it rolls away. “Writin’ what?” He peers into the open window at my laptop screen.
“Daniel!” his mother scolds him. “Don’t bother the lady.”
The ball slips from Daniel’s hands and falls through the window, accidentally on purpose. I lean down and retrieve it from between my feet.
“I’m writing stories,” I say, giving him the ball.
Daniel rests his chin on the window frame, green eyes brimming with questions. “What kind of stories?”
“Mostly stories about Jesus.”
He turns and looks at his mother. “Mom, who’s Jesus?”
She’s embarrassed, smiling shy without an answer.
Just then, I remember. In my book bag there’s a copy of John MacArthur’s I Believe in Jesus: Leading Your Child to Christ. I pull it out and give it to her. “Jesus is God’s son,” I say. Daniel grabs the book from his mother’s hand and starts flipping through the pages. She takes it from him, and offers it back to me.
“Keep it,” I tell her. “I have more at home.”
She thanks me quickly and guides Daniel away.
“Read it, Mom! Read it to me!” He pulls on her arm and reaches for the book.
She opens the cover. As they walk toward the beach I hear her read aloud: “The Bible says that in the beginning there was only God. He has always been . . . “
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for those days when we run just a little bit late. It is impossible for us to understand your ways, but your timing is always perfect. Amen.
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