Thank You for Religious Revelations and the Scientific Minds of Children

When I was in fourth grade I had not been exposed to much religion yet. A little girl on the play ground told me “Jesus takes care of little children”. Her name was Carla Phillips and she was evidently practicing to marry a minister, or be one, or was being raised by one. I can’t know. But she told me about praying and how prayers would come true.

Her statement hit me like I had just discovered gold.

I was the oldest of four and I believed that I was the one who had to take care of my little brothers in a very challenging home environment with a sick mother and an absent father. So this news was quite a relief. I was excited to get home and test the theory.

I walked through the door and gathered my three little brothers around (my mother was typically sleeping during most days) saying “Hey you guys, guess what? You’re not gonna believe this, but Carla Phillips says there’s a guy named Jesus who will take care of us if we pray, and she showed me how to do it!”

They had some questions that I couldn’t answer but reluctantly followed my instructions about the praying part just in case.

So we all got down on our knees, just like Carla Phillips had said we should. I lined us up in a row next the the radiator that heated the living room.

I kept Mikey next to me so he wouldn’t squirm and scare Jesus away. (He was only three.)

There we were, four kids ages 3, 6, 7, and 8, with our hands clasped together, faces near the floor, and butts in the air, next to the radiator like it was the holy mecca of magically appearing people we had never heard of.

I prayed out loud so my brothers would know what we were supposed to be praying for.

I had explained before-hand that we had to believe in the guy because this magic had something to do with “faith”.

“Dear Jesus”, I guess I thought it was like writing a letter to a stranger, “If you are really there, and Carla Phillips is telling the truth, please make a loaf of bread be on top of the heater when we open our eyes.” I waited for a moment and added “Thank you if this is true.”

We stayed there, with our butts in the air, and our eyes squeezed shut, for a few more seconds to give the Jesus guy time to sneak the loaf of bread onto the top of the radiator.

Then I opened my eyes, looked on top of the radiator and nudged all the boys into getting off the floor.

“Never mind you guys, Carla Phillips lied”,I said matter of factly, “There ain’t no guy named Jesus and there ain’t no bread on the heater”

I tested the Carla Phillip’s theory a few times, later when my brothers were not present, but always the same result.

Thank you, Carla Phillips, for trying to give me some faith.

I found my own version much later.


~ by leakelley on December 30, 2008.

2 Responses to “Thank You for Religious Revelations and the Scientific Minds of Children”

  1. To God and Jesus and all those other guys: I love this story. You should, too.

    To Lea: I remember it from the first time you told it to me. I love you for continuing to look for faith, and for continuing to find your own vision of spirituality, for finding it, and for sharing it with me…and so many others. Mikey would be proud of his big sister, for the woman she has become, for finally finding the bread on the radiator, though the bread didn’t come in a plastic bag, and the radiator wasn’t in that particular room.

    To Carla Phillips: Thank you for teaching Lea how to pray – she’s been doing it ever since (although I’ve never seen her butt in the air in front of a radiator, her computer…or anywhere else, thank god). Her ThankYou blog is evidence of just that, and so much more. What you thought of prayer may be something far and away different from what Lea practices, but it’s faith all the same. It’s faith that we can be the people we hope to become.

    I love you Letha Jean, sister to three brothers, daughter to your parents, godmother to two, and friend to untold numbers. Just in case you don’t know yet – YOU are the bread on the radiator.


  2. I do love the story.

    I think I love what you wrote even more Linda.

    Well done both of you.

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