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What Prayer Can Do: A Detour for Grandma

She didn’t want to miss seeing the wagon train reenactment with her kids, but something told her to visit her grandmother.

Photo credit: Diane Bondareff/AP for Tishman Speyer
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Wisconsin was going all out for its 150th anniversary. It had organized a whole series of historical reenactments, including a two-week wagon train that would pass right by my house. My kids had been studying the history for weeks to be ready for it. They couldn’t wait.

I’d gotten up early to get my errands done, but I’d have to hurry to be home in time. The parking lot at Walmart was crowded. It took forever to get out. Then, just as I reached the exit, I had a sudden thought: Go visit Grandma.

Impossible. My grandmother lived in a nursing home on the other side of town, totally out of my way. I’d never have time to drive over, see her and get home before the procession.

Visit Grandma. The thought got stronger. It’d been a couple of weeks since I’d seen her. But the wagons would only come by today! Back and forth I went in my mind. But in the end I made the turn to see Grandma.

At the nursing home, attendants were setting chairs out on the lawn. I learned that the wagon train was coming right by the home. A lot of the residents were coming out to watch.

Up in her room, I asked Grandma if she’d like to watch too. I helped her into a jacket and we went down to the lawn together. Everyone cheered as the procession went by: horses and covered wagons, ladies in ruffled dresses and bonnets. Nobody enjoyed it more than Grandma. Her face lit up as soon as the wagons appeared.

Later, as I hugged her goodbye, she said, “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to watch the wagon train.” The staff had been so busy setting things up, she didn’t want them to have to bother getting her settled outside. Everyone else seemed to have someone to sit with and she was on her own.

“I prayed that if God wanted me to go he would send someone to get me out there. You were that person!”

Visiting Grandma had been the right thing, even if it meant choosing to miss watching the wagons with my kids. But it turned out I didn’t have to choose. Despite my detour, I was home with minutes to spare.

Download your FREE ebook, A Prayer for Every Need, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

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