The Card of Uncommon Prayer

"I am your Father, Luke."

“I am your Father, Luke.”

This is my son, the Ginger Ninja. It’s an old photo, as you can see by the date (and anybody who knows our family knows he’s now six-and-a-half. But he asks me about once a month when I’m going to blog about him (!!), so today, while I’m still silent under the heartbreak of the shooting in Connecticut, and still in shock from the ferocity of the response against suggestions of gun control and still grieving for the pain in a country I’ve come to love like I love my own, I thought I’d tell you a funny story.

My son, when he was two, took Darth Vader everywhere. He took Darth Vader to bed, in the car, to church…wherever he went, Darth Vader went too. Nice chap, really. He lost his light sabre pretty early on in life, and was a dab hand with the old paints and play dough. He made quite a fine cake decoration as well. He started life as a keyring decoration from the petrol station, and was quite the find for only $2, which is good, because we ended up with about four of him (ever hunted the house for a small toy when your child is screaming in the car for it, and won’t leave for church without it? I found a spare the other day, in the back of my underpants drawer).

One day, when the Ginger Ninja was about four, we took him to Kmart to spend his birthday money, and the first thing he saw that he wanted – the only thing he saw that he wanted – was a singing Darth Vader birthday card. Yes, the card sang. You opened it up and it sang the Star Wars theme. Needless to say, we heard that song an awful lot. An AWFUL lot.

I tucked him into bed a few months after this, having read stories and cleaned teeth, and he says to me “We’ll do singing prayers tonight, Mummy!”

Singing prayers? Am I to put on my best High Church voice and find my old Book of Common Prayer? Should I call for back-up? Is there a priest in the house? My Ginger Ninja, if nothing else, is known for being very pedantic about how things need to be. I envisioned tears and tantrums if Singing Prayers didn’t go according to plan, and I held my breath and waited for his explanation. There wasn’t one.

Instead, he leaned over and picked up his Darth Vader card from the shelf on the side of his bed. He wriggled a little, sat up straighter, and with a deep breath in closed his eyes and opened his card. We sat in silence, he with his eyes shut and a beatified smile on his face, as the tinny tune rang out of the creased and well-loved card. At the end he opened his eyes, looked at me and said decisively, “Amen”, then lay down to sleep.

Amen, son. Sometimes music is all the words you need.


10 thoughts on “The Card of Uncommon Prayer

    • I agree! It touched me so deeply that he was so engaged with his “prayer”. His younger brother, on the other hand, we’ve had to renconcile with the fact that we’re praying to GOD, not to him, so it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t stop and listen šŸ™‚

  1. Lovely Megan, God Bless your little boy; I really think the Star Wars theme might be an improvement on some of the tunes we get to sing in church… at the moment our little ones are getting ready to Help a star to twinkle at the crib service; have just finished an invitation to go in the local paper .. For little ones to come dressed as stars or shepherds … Perhaps Darth Vader may turn up as well!

    • Oh, lovely! Hope your crib service goes wonderfully. My kids dressed up yesterday morning for our church’s Christmas service – except for the Ginger Ninja, who wore shorts and a black Angry Birds Star Wars t-shirt. I’m picking a theme here…more so than need be šŸ™‚

  2. Hi Megan yes sweet anecdote about your precious son and his fascination (almost obsession with Darth Vader) and what importance and significance he holds for him. We have one of those sons too – but his must have is Cairo a well loved soft toy lion. We ended up buying several (5 I think) as the original had a bath and mum decided to dry him off in the microwave – needless to say bad move by me – he was never the same so hunted every last one in Australia – like it lion hunting – anyway procured them now we have ones affectionately called skinny, fatty, medium. They all look identical to me but he knows and notices their differences and that is what matters. Cairo’s rock! Enjoy your day šŸ™‚

    • Oh NO!! Poor Cairo in the microwave! Glad you managed some spares…it amazes me how kids know the difference in their favourite toys.
      I’m pleased to report that Darth Vader obsessions have been well and truly retired in this family. He’s moved on to friends of the human variety.
      You have a good day too, my friend. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I Love this story!! Love your blogs Megan!
    You have the cutest Ginger Ninja ever, as your say sometimes the words don’t come but the music says it all for us. So I hope God is listening to my Star Wars theme, while the words avid me right now.

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