“What about a cake,” I ask Murielle as we push the grocery cart down the baking aisle. “Do you want me to make that chocolate cake for your birthday?”
She smiles the way I remember her with wispy locks and a pacifier plugged in her mouth; a father of the bride moment for me standing in front of the pudding in Wal-Mart. Except now she’s days away from seventeen. How did I get here, the mother of a teenager?
“Oh, I love that cake,” she admits. “Yes, I want you to make that cake.”
And maybe for some, this is just an ordinary answer by your child to a simple question. But for this mother, it’s a gift. She rarely expresses what she wants because she considers others more important than herself.
The next question from her mouth? “But you won’t have to make the cake until later in the week, right? Will you have time to make it?” It’s typical from her. Thoughtfulness from a teenager that makes my heart swoon and sometimes stomp my feet. It humbles me on most days.
But standing in the aisle discussing party food with my daughter, I see my young self in her countenance. I rarely asked for what I wanted for fear of imposing on others too.
I place a box of chocolate fudge pudding for the cake on top of the snacks we’ve picked out for the party. The bags of favorite candy she thinks her friends will enjoy; carefully calculating the cost with each one as she places them in the cart.
I didn’t give her a budget. Doing this for her is a joy.
And I wonder how often I do this with my prayers. Think I’m imposing with my requests, being presumptuous with the ask. When I have a Father who wants me to be specific and tell him what I want. What I need. What I long for in the secret places of the soul. What I’m dreaming of.
This is the Father heart of God. What makes His heart smile; the same way my daughter telling me what she wants brings me delight.
Last summer, after reading the Circle Maker, I began to change the way I pray. Just like Jesus asking the blind men at the gate, “What can I do for you,” I’m imagining my Heavenly Father taking that posture with me.
In August last year, I asked Jesus for a regular place to write in community for my birthday gift. On my birthday, He answered that prayer in a text; a message from an editor asking me about writing regularly for his column. Of course I said yes. A few months later, when he stepped down to focus his attention elsewhere, I was asked to take his place.
Today, I’m dreaming God-sized, asking Him for things outside my grasp and abilities. The answer may come over a bite of chocolate cake. If it does, I’ll let you know about it.
What about you, do you have a hard time being specific in prayer? What are you doing that you can’t do without an intervention from God?
Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose from the prompt: Food.