Violet, our 3 year old, has a tough time differentiating the letter “l” from the letter “r.” That means we often field several requests to take her to the “prayground.” This pronunciation became all the more special, recently. Sitting glumly at an outdoor table at a fast food place, Violet was distraught that there were no other kids there to play with. I suggested we bow our heads and pray for God to provide friends. Note, this was not some really cool segway to a family devotional, this was not me being super spiritual mom focused on nurturing my child’s spiritual growth. I was tired and desperate, and getting on the playground with her wasn’t an option because I had the baby. I had no idea how I was going to explain it if no other kids arrived. Thank God, I didn’t have to…not only 1 kid, but 8 kids showed up in the next few minutes, in Violet’s mind, just to play with her. She was ecstatic! She still tells the story, in fact each trip to the local Burger King playground includes a prayer for friends. And she’s not quiet about it either.
“Mommy, I prayed for her, my friend, she came!” Violet exclaimed, loudly as a family came out to the playing area. And I got a slightly odd look from the mother. Today a group of kids left, Violet screamed, “Oh, no, Mommy, they are leaving! We have to pray!” Another odd look. This is all the funnier to me because I grew up a Yankee, not going to church much. I had never heard of a revival until I had come to the South. As a young adult I was baptized into a conservative, Bible based group. Some of my family thought I was, well, pretty whackadoo. Needless to say, growing up, I would never think I’d be the one with the kid praying on the playground.
There’s no immediate plans to pitch a tent, preach for hours, and put out a sign that reads “salvation here.” But I am reminded, with each fervent, loud, jubilant prayer from my little girl, that one’s soul can be revived anywhere – even amongst half drank sodas and stale fries at a Burger King playground.