An excerpt from ‘God Stories’

Posted Nov. 23, 2008, at 7:03 p.m.

‘Don’t you ever go forgettin’ that’

Bonnie Baker of Blue Hill, retired nurse’s aide

Going to Grandma’s house was always a big adventure for me. Always delighted by my visits, she would help me cut out paper dolls from old catalogs or fetch the big box that contained old photographs of her five children. We would laugh together at the dresses and hairdos and she would always come up with an amusing anecdote for each picture.

Grandma had her serious moments as well. After every meal we would read a chapter from her worn bible and pray. I will never forget the morning Grandma asked God for a broom. Even in my childish reasoning, it seemed too small a thing to bother God with. However, I kept my thoughts to myself while Grandma cheerfully worked throughout the morning, scrubbing clothes on the washboard and eyeing the dust that needed to be swept away.

Outdoors in the sunshine I soon forgot Grandma’s prayer as I picked wild strawberries — popping them into my mouth to savor the juicy sweetness. So absorbed was I in my task that I didn’t hear the footsteps on the graveled path. My head shot up as David, Grandma’s neighbor, called my name.

“Is your grandmother inside?” he asked with a big, friendly smile. I nodded, my throat too constricted to speak. I watched as he strode up to the house, whistling and swinging a broom in his hand. Awestruck, I sat in the middle of my berry patch. Had God really sent Grandma a broom? A tiny seed of faith was planted in my heart as I pondered the miracle.

After David left, Grandma burst outside. “Lizella had an extra broom an’ thought of me this mornin’,” Gram said, referring to one of her close friends. “She sent it over by David,” her face beamed “Isn’t it a dandy?”

Inside, we knelt by the worn sofa to give thanks. Then Grandma went to work, whisking away all the dust until the house was spotless. Her crinkly blue eyes shone as she laid aside her broom and pulled me onto her apron-covered lap. Child, don’t ever be afraid of askin’ God for what you need,” she said, stroking my brown curls. “He really cares about us. Don’t you ever go forgettin’ that.”

And I never did.

With permission from Jennifer Skiff

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