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This is the face of an answer to prayer.

He was almost fifteen and having a hard year…this quiet son of ours. He was missing his dad who worked out of town. He rarely smiled.

I prayed. I asked God to show me how to encourage him, our boy who rarely asks for anything.

The very next day he came to me with a simple request.

“Mom” (he said) “Can I get a guinea pig?”

A guinea pig?

Would he clean the cage and take care of it, we wondered?

Being the let’s-make-sure-he-values-what-he-has sort of parents that we are, we told him,

“Yes”…on one condition.

He needed to earn the money to buy or make the cage (these small animals can cost a fortune in small animal paraphernalia)but, he (being the unmotivated teen that he was) didn’t make any moves toward acquiring a cage.

Oh dear.

I wondered, waited and prayed. He seemed morose.

Just weeks later at a debate tournament with our daughter, hospitable strangers invited us to stay in their home and guess who greeted us as we walked into their home?

A beautiful, long-haired guinea pig who poked her round little nose out of the bars of her cage, peered through her hair and said,

“Queeek?” (which is piggy language for “Hello”)

We exclaimed over her.

The strangers very quickly said, “Do you want her?”

Total strangers (now friends) gave us a healthy guinea pig, cage, food, water bottle, bale of wood shavings and all the dishes and needed accessories to take care of a small friendly rodent!

They called her Pumpkin.

Our son named her Kerfuffle.

The God who made the majestic earth answers the prayers and hopes of teen boys who miss their fathers. He shores up the faith of discouraged mothers by sending funny-faced buck-toothed creatures from the hands of generous strangers.

Kerfuffle fulfilled her God-given destiny by blessing our son with a tangible reminder that God is There.

Of course, in the ever-changing way of youth, a year and a half later he bequeathed her to his ten-year-old sister where Kerfuffle continues to fulfill her God-given destiny by teaching responsibility!

She makes me smile every time I look at her.

She is an answer to prayer.