We had just finished reading the story of the prodigal son.
I asked the children, “If you were the father, would you forgive the son?”
There was a resounding, “NO, never! That father was crazy,” and one lone “Yes.”
I asked Vladik, a young boy from the orphanage who was in my Bible group two years ago, “Why did you answer ‘yes’?
Vladik replied, “He’s my son, and that’s it. He is my son, and I love him.”
There was a long pause, until this question left my mouth, “What is one of the things that makes it difficult for you to believe in God?”
“Because every time I pray for something, He never answers.” Vladik responded boldly.
“If you could pray for anything in the entire world, and have that one thing given to you, what would it be?”
My heart felt as if it had been wrung and my lungs as if they had lost all their air. “What are a mother and father to you?” I asked. We then talked through each of those characteristics.
“Vladik, every characteristic that makes up a mother and father was created by God. God is everything that a mother and father are, only God is those things to perfection. God is our mother and father to complete perfection. And brothers and sisters are there to encourage, to build up, to pray for, and to have fun with you. Vladik, we are your family; I have prayed for you night and day for the last two years. You are my brother.”
Vladik looked up, and with tears rolling down his face, he said, “God has answered my prayer.”