A young couple had wanted to attend a special church service that was several hours away from their home in California. But because they had five young children, it had been really hard for them to find a babysitter who would be able to handle the rambunctious crew. Finally, the wife’s parents arranged to visit and babysit so the couple could go. They had raised a large family themselves and felt they could handle the crowd. Besides, these were their grandchildren, what a great opportunity to spoil them with their parents away.
The day arrived, it was a beautiful, sunny morning. The couple kissed all the kids good-bye, reminding them to listen to their grandparents and then they diplomatically reminded the grandparents about the rules too. With much laughter and love, the couple were sent on their way.
The morning had gone well. Grandma had made her world-famous pancakes and Grandpa had told the children stories about their mother that had them giggling. They tidied up the kitchen and then called all the children together to play games.
“Where’s Joey?” Grandpa asked.
Joey was the two-year old who tended to lag a little bit behind the other children.
“He was just here,” an older sister remarked.
“When did you last see him?” Grandma asked, a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
“After breakfast,” the sister said. “I was watching him, but then I got a phone call.”
“We have to find him,” the Grandpa ordered brusquely and the family separated, checking the inside and the outside of the house.
Grandma breathed a sigh of relief when she investigated the pool and found no sign of the child, but he was still missing. After a thorough search of the house, they called the police and they sent the older children to notify the neighbors, so everyone could search.
The police came, took down the little boy’s information and started to search. The grandparents were sick with worry. And they knew they had to call the parents and let them know what had happened.
They were able to reach the parents, who had already attended one session of the special service. They immediately got into their cars and started their drive home, praying fervently for their little boy as the miles passed. The family gathered together and took a few moments to offer their own prayers for the safety of the child.
At that moment, a neighbor came through the back door carrying a sopping wet two-year-old in her arms. The neighbor had tears in her eyes as she handed the child to his grandparents.
“Where did you find him?” the grandfather asked.
“About five feet away from our ornamental pool,” she explained, shaking her head. “I don’t understand.”
“You don’t understand what?” the grateful grandmother asked.
“Our ornamental pool is six feet deep,” the neighbor explained. “And it has sheer sides. There is no easy way to climb out of it. I found him, soaking wet, standing in a puddle five feet away on concrete.”
She met the grandmother’s eyes. “There were no footprints or water marks from the pool to the spot I found him.”
Joey smiled at his grandmother. “The nice lady helped me,” he said. “The nice lady in the pretty dress. I was going under the water and she picked me up and we flew.”
“You flew?” his grandmother asked, her voice shaking. “You were under the water and then you flew.”
“She said to tell you that she loves you, grandma,” the child continued. “She told me that she is your mommy.”
The grandmother hugged the child and wept. Her mother had died ten years earlier.