Pickle Prayers

Three-year-old Jesse Suits was not happy on one particular Sunday as he followed his pregnant mother and four siblings in through our church’s rear entrance doors. He cried, clinging to his mom’s skirt, and definitely did not want to go into his Sunday School classroom.

I had KidCheck Security duty that morning, so it was easy to offer a hand.

“Come with me, Jesse. Will you help me this morning? We need to check the other children into their classes.”

Those tear-filled eyes brightened just a little as he looked up and said, “Uh-huh, I’ll help you.”

As I lifted him onto the stool at the check-in station’s computer, I promised him a story. He wiped his cheeks and cracked a smile.

And the story began…”Once upon a time there was a huge bear in the woods who had lost his family. He’d searched and searched, but he couldn’t find them. Eventually he became very hungry, and his stomach GROWLED, so he stopped for a pathside snack of blackberries and a sip of water from the nearby stream…”

“Hey,” the little man interrupted. “Do bears like pickles?”

His question caught me off-guard, but since I was making up this story anyway, I followed Jesse’s line of questioning.

“Of course, bears like pickles. Do you like pickles?

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a child’s face light up quite the way Jesse’s did when he blurted out, “Oh, I love pickles. Do you have any pickles for me to eat now?”

And thus began our special new friendship centered on his love for pickles.

A few Wednesday nights later, when I substituted as teacher for his Sonbeams’ class, only he and four-year-old Logan were in attendance. So I thought, “Field trip time!” I asked their mothers’ permission to take them pickle shopping at the nearby Sweetbay Supermarket.

What fun we had, as the two boys selected a jar each of their favorite pickles, along with a soda and some chips. This field trip was one I’ll never forget.

Since that time, my husband RJ and I have created a “pickle stash” so Jesse will always have a jar of his favorites on hand.

Several Sundays ago, Jesse saw me in the hallway after church (Plant City Church of God). He stopped, put his hand on his hip, and grinned. “Did you bring my pickles today?”

“You bet I did, Jesse. Stay right there while I get them out of my office.”

By the time I’d returned, his family was gathered near the rear entrance. I bent down to show Jesse the new jar and asked, “Hey, will you do me a big favor? Will you say a prayer for me every time you eat a pickle?

His response and sweet smile were instant. “Pickle prayers!”

And he made my day and melted my heart as I thought, “Can you imagine how many prayers he might say for me?”

Pickle prayers from Jesse…I am counting on our listening God.

Jesse and his Suits family love pickles!

Jesse and his Suits family love pickles!

13 Comments

Filed under Family

13 responses to “Pickle Prayers

  1. Liz Suits

    What a gift you have, Cheryl! I love how God has used you to weave these seemingly uneventful moments in our lives into an ornate tapestry of meaningful relationships and stories to treasure. Jesse most definitely has said many “pickle prayers” for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words, Liz. As you know, I love children and I love watching them grow in the Lord. Parents like you and James inspire me and so many others at our church. Now it’s your turn to begin sharing their beautiful, funny and touching stories because I KNOW that YOU ARE A WRITER. Use the practice in your homeschool classroom. I can even come one day to be your “guest teacher” (smile).

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  2. What a precious story! Little children are just so precious and just make my heart swell. I will always remember to say my Pickle Prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a precious story. Jesse will always remember you. Jesus hears those pickle prayers too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t he adorable, Aunt Lois. And what a charmer, I kid you not, with his impish grin and big brown eyes (that he knows how to us already). I would never be able to punish this boy because he is way too cute. No wonder Jesus wants us to maintain childlike faith and trust. Pickles are now one of my favorite foods!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So very sweet! I LOVE pickles too! Maybe you can stash a jar for me at our BCW meeting?! Lol! I promise I’ll pray for you MORE than just when you give me a pickle! 😉 Thanks for the sweet post. 💗

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  5. So precious! At last my curiosity is satisfied about pickle prayers!
    Melinda

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    • Jesse has involved me in a pickle adventure since that day I asked Liz if he could help me at KidCheck. He is such a charmer and he gives great hugs, too. God has connected an old woman and a little boy at the heart, and I am having so much fun being Jesse’s buddy. What a beautiful job Liz and James are doing with their children. Hope is alive and well in our young families, thanks be to Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this story. Oh for the love of little children. So precious!

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Aunt Lois. This little boy has my heart. He’s such a charmer already and his parents are wonderful Christians. Can’t wait to see what God has planned for his life.

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