Sirens blared and four pairs of small eyes peered out the car window, searching. Searching for a glimpse of the vehicle causing the blare. The mother pulled the station wagon to the side of the road and peered through the rear view window at her children.
“Quick, kids, lets pray for them,” she’d say.
As one, they’d bow their heads – though, at times, a child would peak out, still wanting that glimpse – and the mother’s voice would say “Heavenly Father, we want to pray for the people to whom this ambulance is going. We pray that if they do not know you, Lord, that you would use this incident to bring them to you. We pray that if they do know you, Lord, that you would use this incident to help them tell others about You. We pray for the doctors and the nurses, that you would give them wisdom and for the police officers and ambulance workers, that they would also have wisdom. We ask that you would not let anyone die, unless they know you Father. Amen.” The mother’s voice would catch a little at the end, working hard not to cry.
And all the kids would say Amen and the ambulance would have passed and the mother would pull back out into traffic. And ten minutes later the children will have forgotten it happend.
But repetition has a way of forcing memories and habits in a persuasive way. The children grew up, slowly, and there was never a time that, when a siren blared, the car was not pulled over and the mother did not say a prayer and there was rarely a time that, by the end of it all, the mother was not wiping away a quick tear.
Soon the children were driving on their own. And to their surprise, when it was their turn to pull aside to let the emergency vehicle pass, they found their own voices repeating “Heavenly Father, we want to pray for the people to whom this ambulance is going…”