Joseph Anderson Donetti
More Adventures With Mac
Joseph Anderson Donetti -- More Adventures With Mac, Chapter 1
Joseph's Midnight Prayer
Joseph Anderson Donetti's eyes popped opened. He blinked. The bedroom was very dark. It was very quiet. It was very cold.
Joseph snuggled deeper into the quilts. He pulled them up around his chin and covered his ears. Then he burrowed the top of his head into the pillow. Only his nose was left in the chilly air. He shut his eyes. That should warm up his eyeballs.
Joseph yawned mightily. He tried to remember the dream he had been enjoying. In his dream he had been back in his old neighborhood. He and his best friend, Danny, had been trying to figure out how to fasten bird feathers to their faces so they could be wise men in the Christmas play. Joseph giggled. What a silly dream! His eyes popped open again. He stared up at the ceiling. Why in the world was he awake in the middle of the night?
Suddenly Joseph remembered something Pastor Chuck had once said. "Sometimes God will wake us up at night so He can talk to us." Joseph's heart beat faster. Had God woke him up? Did God want to talk to him?
Joseph lay very still. He pulled the blankets away from his ears and listened. He heard the house creak. G.M. said that's just what old houses do at night. It had something to do with temperature changes. He heard a dog bark twice, but the window was barely open, so the dog sounded lonely and far away. Otherwise it was very, very quiet.
Joseph thought again about his dream. He missed Danny a lot. He missed the old neighborhood. He missed the pigeons that strutted and pecked on the sidewalks there. He missed the spicy smell of pizza from Anthony's Pizza Parlor on the corner. He even missed the squeaking and squealing of the buses that braked at the bus stop underneath his old bedroom window.
But, Joseph thought, he was happy here in Oregon too. He liked living in a real house instead of an apartment. He liked going out to G.M.'s garden and picking juicy strawberries and fat, ripe tomatoes and crispy cucumbers instead of buying everything at the supermarket. He liked mowing the lawn—pushing the noisy mower and smelling the freshly cut grass. And he liked the new friends he had made. It was really weird how a person could be happy and sad about the same things at the same time.
Joseph heard the bedroom door creak open. He saw G.M.'s head peek in.
"Hi!" he said softly.
"What are you doing awake?" G.M. whispered in surprise.
"I don't know," Joseph answered. "Maybe God wants to talk to me."
"H-m-m-m," G.M. muttered. She disappeared for a few minutes and then reappeared wrapped up in a colorful quilt. She padded across the floor and sat down Indian-style on the end of Joseph's bed. "What are you thinking about?" she asked.
"I was just missing Danny and my old neighborhood," Joseph said. "I was even missing his silly old parakeet."
"You know," G.M. said, "there is a man named Paul in the Bible who traveled a lot. He knew all about missing people and places. He said, 'I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.' (Philippians 4:12). Paul would have been content even in the state of Oregon!" she said.
"Now, I admit Paul wasn't exactly talking about Oregon," G.M. continued, "but in a way he was. Hand me your flashlight and Bible."
Joseph squirmed and stretched and tried to reach the bookcase without getting uncovered. "Stop laughing at me!" he said to G.M. He handed her the Bible first and then the flashlight when his fingers found it.
G.M. flicked on the light and turned the pages. "Here it is," she said, "in the book of Philippians, chapter four. This is the way your Children's Bible puts it." G.M. began to read. " 'I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens. I have learned to be happy when I have enough to eat and when I do not have enough to eat. I have learned to be happy when I have all that I need and when I do not have the things I need. I can do all things through Christ because He gives me strength.' "
"I didn't mean that I am unhappy here," Joseph said quickly. He wanted G.M. to understand. "I just sometimes miss things. But if I were back in my old neighborhood, I would be missing you!"
"What's going on in here?" Mom stepped into the bedroom. "I thought I heard voices, and now I know why."
"Move your feet," G.M. said, patting Joseph's legs. "Come on in," she said to Mom as she scooted over. "I'll share my quilt."
Mom climbed onto the bed and snuggled close to G.M. "It sure is getting cold these nights!" she exclaimed. "Now what's going on in here? It can't be a party. There aren't any cookies," she said with a grin.
"Oh, I just got up to go to the bathroom," G.M. explained. "I looked in on Joseph and to make sure he had enough covers, and I found him wide awake. He thought God might be wanting to talk to him."
"Really?" Mom said.
"Well, that's what Pastor Chuck says," Joseph put in. "He says sometimes people are too busy to listen to God's voice in the daytime. So He has to talk to them at night."
"So, did God talk to you?" Mom asked.
"I think I interrupted," G.M. said.
"No," Joseph answered, "I think He did. G.M. told me that the Bible is God's words. And she read me some of them. God must have been talking to me!"
"You know what I especially like about Joseph?" G.M. asked, turning to her daughter, Joseph's mom. "He has a heart that wants to hear God's words, and he recognizes God's words when he hears them."
"I'm really glad we decided to move out here to Oregon," Mom said softly.
"Oregon is the state I'm in, and I am content!" Joseph declared. He looked at Mom and G.M. He smiled mischievously. "And I would be even more content if I had a cookie!"