"Hold the string tight!" Jenny's mom said as they got out of the car.
"I will, Mama," Jenny said, winding the string around her hand. "I don't want to lose my balloon!" The red balloon bobbed and tipped in the wind as Jenny walked toward the house. She watched the balloon so carefully that she stumbled on the step, but she held the string tight.
"Remember to be quiet, Jenny," her mom reminded her. "Dad is working upstairs in his office today."
Jenny sat on the sofa and looked at the balloon hanging between herself and the two-story ceiling. Then she danced around the coffee table to see how the balloon would twist at the end of its string.
In the kitchen, Jenny's mom put the milk in the fridge, the cans on the shelf, and a cube of butter in its dish. She started to rinse the lettuce for a lunch salad.
"Mama!" Jenny shrieked from the living room.
Her mother dropped the lettuce in the sink, and her father's study door slammed open as they both ran to see what was wrong. Jenny stood crying, pointing at the ceiling. There was the balloon, red against the white ceiling, its string dangling several feet above Jenny's outstretched hand.
"My balloon!" Jenny cried. "I want my balloon!"
"It's okay," her mother said, giving Jenny a hug. "I think I can reach it." Drying her hands on her apron, she went to the closet for the stepladder. Dad peered over the upstairs rail to watch. Jenny's mother climbed as high as she could and reached for the string. She could touch the end of the string with the tip of one finger, but she couldn't grab it.
"You'll have to help, Daddy," Jenny said as her mother climbed back down the ladder. "You're tall; you can reach it!"
"Okay," Dad said. He easily reached the string. "Let's tie a loop in the string so it won't slip out of your hand so easily," he said with a smile. They sat on the sofa, and Jenny held the red balloon while her dad tied a loop.
"It's a good thing I have good ears and long arms," her father said. "I'm glad God has good ears and arms long enough to help us when we need Him!"
"Not a physical ear and arm like these," her father replied, tweaking her ear and wiggling her arm, "but an ear that hears even better than ours. He hears us when we call to Him, even though we don't make a sound."
"How can God hear me if I don't make a noise?" Jenny asked.
"Sometimes we talk to God from inside our heads or hearts. He hears every word!" Dad replied.
"Last Sunday, our Sunday school memory verse was ‘The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear' (Isaiah 59:1)," Jenny quoted.
"Good for you!" Dad exclaimed. "I'm glad you memorized that verse. When we need help, His ear hears us and His arm helps. God wants us to talk with Him about everything, even though He knows what we need before we ask Him."
Jenny listened carefully, then nodded.
"Isn't God amazing?" Dad asked. "We can always trust Him to hear us and help us." Dad placed the loop over Jenny's fingers and gave her a hug.
"Thanks, Dad," Jenny said, hugging him back.
By Sylvia Stewart