Marie peeked between her sheer curtains. Colorful, laughing people filled the neighbor’s yard. They carried paper plates, sodas, and chips. Youngsters chased each other with sticks and bugs. Suddenly, she noticed a large birthday cake glide from inside the house, as if it had wings. It landed on a table before a frail, old woman in a wheel chair.
“One day, people will love me too.” Marie jerked the curtains closed.
She stole a quick glance at her baby girl. Marie’s boyfriend had yelled, ‘It’s me or her!’, more than once. Each time, it nearly broke Marie’s heart.
“God, I know you don’t usually hear from me. But, I need you. I love Cloe but I don’t want to be alone. You have to tell me, now, what to do. I can’t live like this.”
Silence, like a thick wall, sat between her and the Lord. It was just as well. Maybe, she didn’t deserve much from a Holy God.
Someone knocked. Marie quickly wiped her eyes and opened the door.
A young child shoved something into her hands. “Bring the plate back.” He said. His voice was almost lost on the summer breeze, as he scampered across the street to play.
She sighed and slammed the door. There were no answers, just two thick slices of chocolate cake. Right then, she decided to forget about God. He had, obviously, forgotten about her.
A month later, she carried Cloe in one arm and the plate in the other. Sunlight splashed through her neighbor’s window, creating golden streaks across the floor.
“Pull up a chair, suga.” The old woman said.
Marie’s eyes darted to the grandfather clock sitting in the corner of the room. Sweat beaded on her forehead. She was meeting with the adoption agency in less than an hour.
“I can’t stay.” Marie shifted her weight, avoiding eye contact.
“You sure?” the old woman asked.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“To the extent you love, you receive love.” Old Ms. Clara said.
The old woman smiled. “The Lord told me to tell you to keep your baby, Honey. He gonna bless you with a real family, like mine.”
The wise woman’s words plunged into the depths of Marie’s soul. Through teary eyes, she glanced at the clock one last time. It was already a quarter till two. But, she didn’t care. God had answered her prayer. Through Cloe, he had given her the perfect gift of love.