His first reaction was to confirm that the prayer friend was a boy named David, and not a girl.
Then he asked if the prayer friend was older or younger than him. My response of "older" was clearly the right answer.
He forgot to ask how *much* older, and we'll revisit that detail later.
So, as we're getting ready for church, I ask him if he wants to put the contents of his "giving jar" in a baggie to bring along for an offering. He was enthusiastically in favor of this, carefully counting it out and bagging it. After he put it in his pocket, I checked to ensure that he was ready, and told him to play outside while I finished up.
My goal was to leave at 9:00 a.m. in order to make it there for the special service, which started at 9:30 a.m.
At 9:15 a.m., after searching the entire house and backyard, I found him at the top of a crepe myrtle tree outside my bedroom window.
Fortunately, when we finally made it to church, we discovered that they had temporarily postponed the little ceremony due to widespread prayer friend tardiness.
While we waited, I went and got a cup of coffee and then saw someone and started talking, so I missed the actual introduction of the prayer friends; however, it was obvious to all that John & David were a good match.
John immediately asked him how old he was and commented that 43 was older than he had expected, older than most of his other friends, but it would probably be OK.
Phew. That was a relief. I was worried that age might be an obstacle.
David made conversation with John about kindergarten, hiking, and sports.
John chatted him up, as he is wont to do. And then, he offered the baggie of money.
It was $1.07 -- mostly pennies.
David was gracious and suggested they place it in the offering plate during the worship service.
John then asked if we could sit with David.
I wasn't planning on staying for the worship service, but I couldn't let down his enthusiasm.
During the service, John practiced writing David's and his own name on the church bulletin. He asked (out loud, during the "Remembrance of Saints" part where they quietly say all the names of the church members who have passed away during the last year) about whether or not David was coming home with us for a play date. Then he looked over and noticed that the audio technician (we were sitting in the balcony) had prosthetic legs, and proceeded to speculate aloud about how he might have lost his real legs and wonder if he has them at home or if there is a leg fairy who picks them up and brings money.
After we got back home, the excitement had not faded.
I walked into my bedroom to find John, kneeling beside the bed, hands folded in prayer. I waited. Then he popped his head up and said, "I just said my first prayer for David!"
"Oh?" I responded. "Do you want to share it with me?"
"Sure! I asked God to send David some money to buy all the stuff he wants in Jesus name amen."
Then, he stood up, walked into the kitchen and announced his Santa Claus list:
- a microscope so he can look at germs
- an indivisibility cloak
- 2 race car tracks connected together
- a cap gun (a long 22) and some bullets
- an electric guitar