Fabulous Husband explained as simply as he could that we don't make requests like this and we aren't going to be collecting or raising pets other than fish. Little Fellow was ok with that, and he really knew this already, but he was sincerely making his request known to the One who is really in charge, The one over the heads of Mom and Dad. He knew what our answer would be, but it didn't stop him from taking it to our Superior.
Either the next day, or the day after that, it had snowed and school had been canceled. Little Fellow was looking out the window and shouted, "A bunny! There's a bunny outside!" I went over and stood next to him and we watched the brown furry critter hopping around the yard. I text Fabulous Husband and told him Little Fellow and I were watching a bunny outside in front of our home. Fabulous Husband filled me in on the details of the prayer request.
I laughed at first, then I pondered what I was being told. This was a great opportunity to discuss how God sometimes answers a prayer in an unexpected way.
"You can't have any more pets, but God sent a bunny to visit you." It just seemed to be the thing to say.
Sometimes God will answer our prayers in ways we don't expect. He hears all our prayers. No prayer ever goes unanswered, sometimes we just don't recognize the answer when it comes. Sometimes we get a "Yes", sometimes a "No", other times "Not yet" and often we even get "Here is something better, instead". Most of my greatest answered prayers have been answered in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times.
Twice since the first sighting this bunny has appeared in front of our car as we drive along toward Church street. He actually hopped along the road in front of our car. Today, he not only hopped along in front of us, he also hopped along side us before turning and dashing off into another neighborhood, much to our Little Fellow's delight.
I believe God hears and answers the prayers of the little children in ways we grown ups have forgotten, or brush off as coincidence. I'm certain it is one of the ways God teaches a child to learn to trust that He hears them and sends them surprises to build their faith in Him.
Isn't this what we do for our children, ourselves, sometimes answering their request in unexpected and surprising ways?
(this was originally posted winter 2011)