Grandpa was up early, as was his routine. He quietly finished his morning chores, careful not to wake his wife, then headed to the kitchen to turn on the coffee.
Next stop was the newspaper, just outside the front door. Before he shut the door, he glimpsed a ray of red shining over the eastern horizon. He liked all the seasons, but was grateful for the early summer sun.
Some hours later, the newspaper finished and a second pot of coffee simmering in its berth, he heard his wife stirring.
He entered the bedroom and helped her shift to a semi-sitting position before he sat on the edge of the bed.
“Here you go,” he said, offering her the warm mug with the straw.
She smiled. “Is this the dregs of the first pot, or have you made another?”
He waited a moment until he could correctly interpret her slurred speech, then smiled back. “Uh oh.” He grinned at her. “Busted.”
He sat with her, holding her hand, offering her coffee, and filling her in on the day’s news until hospice arrived to help her out of bed and accomplish her morning chores.
Later, in the living room, he reminded his wife that they were expecting their granddaughter and her little boy after lunch that day. Smiles filled their eyes as they anticipated the visit.
The visit was so fun! Little Caleb must have been schooled beforehand to be gentle with great-grandma. At one point, Caleb had been excused to go to the bathroom, but took a long time in coming back. Grandpa thought he would just mosey down the hallway and call in, see if everything was alright.
As he neared the bathroom, he saw the door was ajar. Caleb was on his tiptoes at the sink, washing his hands. Grandpa lingered in the hallway, listening. He could hear Caleb speaking, but couldn’t make out the words. As he continued to listen, he thought he might be saying his abc’s, but it sounded so respectful it must be something else. He saw that he struggled to turn off the faucet, so stepped in to help.
“You’re learning your abc’s, huh?” he asked as he turned off the faucet and handed Caleb a towel.
Caleb cocked his head. “I already know those, Papa. I can say ‘em easy.”
“Oh, I thought maybe you were practicing them just now.”
“Nope. I was praying.”
“Praying?” Grandpa could see the astonishment in his own eyes in the mirror.
“Yep. Mom said you and Nana need our prayers, so I was praying.” He handed the towel back.
“You pray with abc’s?” Grandpa could hardly wait to untangle the amazing mind of this child’s thoughts.
“Sure.” He looked his Papa in the eyes. “I’m not that good at praying yet, but God really is. I figure, if I just give Him all the letters, He’ll make the prayers with His Words. He’s really smart that way.”
“I have to agree with you, Caleb. God sure is smart that way.” He chucked his great-grandson under the chin. “I think you’re pretty smart, too.”
After the visit was over, and before his wife took her nap, Grandpa related the story of Caleb’s prayer to her.
“Why,” she whispered, “That’s just like in Romans.” He helped her slowly recite the familiar verse: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Some mornings later, Grandpa knew before he opened his eyes that he slept alone. He reached for his wife’s hand, now cold.
“A, b, c,” he stuttered. “D, e, f….”
* * *
First, I must say that the idea of alphabet prayers is not mine. Somewhere, perhaps on Facebook, I read a blurb like this, and my story is a reworking of whatever I read before.
Second, I must thank Stuart, who originally came up with the idea of an Alphabet Challenge. Please visit and read his story, then stay and be blessed by his other writings. Thank you, Stuart, for the nomination.
And I thank Amy from A New Life for also nominating me. Amy did an amazing job with her challenge, so please jump over to read hers – and stay to read some more amazing writings.
Here are the guidelines:
Acknowledge the blogger that challenged you.
Display the challenge photo or create your own.
Link back to this post so I can read yours
Create one post or multiple posts, as Stuart did, using a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet and share your thoughts on the word you chose and how it can be applied to our lives.
Be creative and have fun!
Nominate 7 (my favorite number) bloggers to participate.
I nominate anyone who knows their abc’s and who comes up with more creative ways to use this unique challenge.