The Model T jerked to a stop so abruptly I nearly fell off.
“See thet?” Pa’s finger jabbed toward a tree by the side of the road. Bark was ripped away in a jagged gash. “Ya look at thet and tell me ‘bout yer new God. Ya tell me how a God kin let my lil’ girl lie in bed, hardly able ta breath on her own, while a drunk driver walked away fine an’ dandy.”
We drove on in silence.
Soon we reached the lane that dipped down into our valley. The farmhouse was nestled at the bottom, the banks covered with the little white blossoms that were my sister’s namesake. Daisy’s Valley looked just as it had when I left for college so many months before. I wished things were as peaceful as they looked.
The auto spluttered to a stop. Pa paused as he reached for my trunk, looking me in the eye. “The day thet Daisy walks be the day I’ll listen ‘bout yer God.”
I followed him into the house, my emotions tangled. We went straight to Daisy’s room. She lay still. Here was the child who only months before had been so full of life that she could hardly sit still. And now…now her life seemed to drain away a little more with each breath she took.
Daisy’s eyes flew open. “Louise! Ya came!”
Her eyes lit up in delight as I hugged her, and for a moment she was her old self. Then she struggled to sit up and pain flashed across her face.
Pa kissed her. “I’m going out ta water the crops.” He paused in the doorway. “I’m glad ya come, Louise. Twill make me heart rest easier ta know thet someone’s near iffen she should need somethin’.” He strode out.
I glanced at Daisy. “Water the crops?”
“It ain’t rained in ages.” She looked away, then patted the bed. “Tell me 'bout yer school.”
Over the next few days we fell into a new routine, talking and giggling like the sisters we were. In the evenings Pa would join us, listening to my tales of college, and joining in as Daisy told me of the goings on while I had been gone. Our little family was together. We tried to ignore that Daisy became weaker each day.
When Pa was gone, Daisy would ply me with questions. “Tell me more ‘bout Jesus, Louise.”
One day Daisy prayed, and became my sister in Christ, as well as in blood. The sparkle in her eyes grew even brighter.
I told her what Pa had said, and how I was praying for her to walk again.
Her question surprised me. “Does God always heal, Lou?”
“Jesus healed. And the Bible tells us to pray for healing.”
“But there musta been hundreds o’ people what didn’t git healed.” Daisy propped her chin in her hand.
I had no answer.
“I’m gonna pray fer rain.” Daisy announced.
She settled back, her face at perfect peace. I, on the other hand, was experiencing my first struggle as a new Christian. I could see my sister dying right before my eyes. And with her, faded my faith that God would answer my prayers for both her and Pa. Despite that, I added rain to my prayer list.
Two mornings later, I was awakened by Daisy’s screeches.
“Clouds!” Daisy cried, pointing to the window. “God’s sendin’ rain.”
Pa did not chastise her for giving God credit. “Come jest in time. Much longer an’ it woulda been too late.”
That night as I was cooking dinner, Pa came from Daisy’s room and sat heavily on a kitchen chair. “I saw her.” His voice had a tremble to it. “I saw Daisy walk.”
The spoon I was holding clattered to the floor.
“I saw her walk through thet valley they talk ‘bout. Thet valley o’ death.” His voice was strangely calm.
A sob caught in my throat.
“I saw me littlest girl walk agin, Louise. An’ she didn’t jest walk. She ran.” It was the first time I had seen my father cry. “She was runnin’ toward Someone.” His eyes sought mine. “I knowed Who it was, Lou. An’ I be thinkin’,” his voice broke. “I be thinkin’ it be time fer me ta git to know thet Someone, too.”
It might not have been the answer I was praying for. I learned that God does things His own way. One thing I knew for sure.
God answers prayer.
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