"Do you realize that your memories are from several months ago? You probably did not even remember you had that doll until this morning when David pulled it from the bottom of your toy box. Why does this doll become important to you only when someone else wants to play with it?"
Mom was trying to make me think that this was my fault. She just did not understand! These were my things and my sister and brother needed to leave them alone. My mom did not listen to me when I explained to her that my things were important to me and no one should be touching them.
Mom asked me a question that made no sense. “Is the doll more important than your brother? You pushed him down to get it."
This was getting me angry. Mary continued to tell Mom how mean I was for pushing down David. David continued to cry, pointing at the doll, and Mom was refusing to understand what I was telling her. Of course the doll was not more important than my brother. But she seemed to think it was all right for everyone to play with and tear up my toys any time they wanted to. "I did not push him down," I said. "He wouldn’t let me have my doll, so I grabbed it away from him and he fell." In the defense of my toys I believed it was acceptable for there to be an injury or two. Why couldn't my mom see that? "Ruth," Mom said quietly, "do you realize that God has a plan for you far greater than this doll and your other toys?"
I knew what was coming next. "What about Mary and David?" I asked, trying to make sure they did not get away free. In the same quiet tone, Mom said, "Oh, yes, God has a plan for Mary, David, and everyone. Just like the doll that sat alone in your toy box in the dark until David saved her, it is God’s plan for us to also be saved. Just as David loved the doll that you forgot about, God wants to love us. He wants us to love each other also." Mom sat down and motioned me to come over. I started to cry, but didn’t know why. I was sure this wasn’t my fault, but I don’t think that was what was making me cry. I saw the disappointment on my mother’s face, so maybe that was it. I went over, and my mom put her arm around me. Mary started to complain that I was not getting in enough trouble. Mom looked at Mary and said, "I am taking care of this. I need you to take David to your room and play with him until I am through here." Mary folded her arms and glared at me but did not say another word. She waited defiantly for a few seconds, then grabbed David’s hand and led him into her room.
He seemed really hurt—or maybe he was just disappointed in me, like Mom was. Mary took this opportunity to announce, "It’s about time!" as she walked from the room holding David’s hand. I was left there with all my feelings. I was right, wasn’t I? My stuff is my stuff. I get in trouble when I get into other people's things. Why is it different when it is my things? Mom patted my shoulder and said those words I had heard a hundred times before. "I want to tell you a story."
I knew it. Maybe this was my punishment. "Mom, you always tell me this story," I whined.
"Good, so you remember the story of the young Moabite girl who accepted what God had planned for her and she was blessed," Mom replied. Of course I remembered the story. The girl's name was Ruth, and I am named after her. It's such an old-sounding name, and kids make fun of it sometimes. As if having my name made fun of is not enough, I have to hear this story all the time too. My mom and dad are real big on some Bible verse that talks about teaching your children as they walk along the road and sleep and all that. I just get tired of hearing about these old people in old clothes.
Mom always started the story with the verse in John that talks about Jesus calling His sheep by name. She then told me the psalm that talks about a generation of people that seek the face of God.
"Ruth, is Jesus calling your name? Think about that for a second. I'll be right back," Mom said.
I rolled my eyes as Mom hurried off. Not really knowing what those verses meant, I closed my eyes and asked God if He was calling my name, not really expecting that He was, since I had already given the doll to David. I sat there with my eyes closed, waiting to hear the voice of God. Suddenly I heard a voice say my name. "Ruth!" I opened my eyes to see my mother returning from the back room, carrying her Bible. Was it my mom who had just called my name or was it God? I continued to watch my mom as she sat down and scooted in close to me. I wanted her to say something so I could recognize if it had been her voice who called my name.