Carrie and Marrie are twins. They looked exactly the same. When they reached the age of 6, they realised they could have a lot of fun with their identical looks.
“Carrie and Marrie, you must not play tricks on your teacher,” Mummy would admonish them sternly. “Daddy and I can tell you apart but other people can’t. They don’t see that you, Marrie, have a birthmark on your right hand and that you, Carrie, have straighter hair.”
“Yes, Mummy,” the girls would reply meekly, already looking for the next opportunity.
On this day, however, something really exciting was happening. It was Granny’s 70th birthday party and family and friends were gathering together. Grandad had died six months before and everyone was really supportive. Granny often said: “I am so fortunate. God has not only given me my own beautiful family, He has given me a lovely church family too. Isn’t he good?”
The twins and Mummy were going shopping for new outfits to wear. “Are we going to have new dresses?” asked Marrie as they entered their nearest clothes shop. “What colour do you think, Carrie?” “I vote blue,” declared Carrie. “Dark blue with pink spots.”
Mummy wasn’t sure they would find exactly what the girls wanted but since they had left it rather late, they didn’t have very long to choose.
That afternoon she and the children were baking a special cake for Granny, which they were to take to the hotel that evening.
As the day went on the children became more and more excited. Their 8-year-old cousins Ayan and Malik, who were also going to the party, called in after tea and Carrie and Marrie had a lot of fun racing round the house with the two boys.
“Carrie and Marrie, come and get ready,” called Daddy while Mummy finished wrapping presents. The cousins travelled with them the short distance to the hotel and as they entered a large airy room they were overcome by the sight of balloons and coloured lights hanging everywhere. Finding the table for gifts, they put Granny’s cards and presents there including two cards the girls had made and a big sparkly one from her daughter who lived in Australia.
Waiters were criss-crossing the room, holding trays full of drinks and more people were arriving. Marrie and Carrie began to feel like they were getting in the way.
“Let’s hide from Malik and Ayan” chirped up Carrie, with a sparkle in her eye. “Alright then!” Replied Marrie, always happy to follow Carrie’s lead. Malik and Ayan had just been told off for spilling juice on the carpet and were happy to come and play the game.
“We’ll hide first,” declared Carrie. “We’ll hide first, you count....” chanted Marrie.
Where could they hide? There were round tables in the centre of the room, covered in large white cloths and beautifully embellished with glass and silverware. Here was the perfect hiding place.
“Here!” hissed Carrie, “in here, under the cloth. Quick!” “Quick!” reiterated Marrie, following her sister into the relative darkness. Being small for their age, they could hide there quite easily and enjoyed watching all the legs as they passed by.
But it seemed to take a long time for the boys to find them and every so often they would poke their heads out into the room and have a look round. It was on one of these occasions that Marrie noticed a waiter acting very strangely.
“What’s he doing?” hissed Carrie, as her attention was drawn to the young man.
Marrie wriggled her small frame further out into the room. “He’s picking up one of Granny’s cards...the one from Australia...”
“He’s putting it in his pocket!” cried Carrie, pushing herself completely from their hiding place and rising to her feet. “Hey!” she shouted, oblivious to all around her. “That’s Granny’s card...” “Granny’s card,” echoed Marrie, “not yours!”
Immediately the waiter saw them and realised he’d been spotted, first by one blonde child and then by another, both looking exactly the same. He dropped his tray of drinks and ran out through the double doors.
“Get him!” called the two boys, arriving suddenly and joining in the fray.
It took a few minutes for Mummy and Daddy to fully realise what was happening but as they saw their daughters racing out into the night they were quick to follow.
Daddy ran after the man while Mummy pulled the girls back inside. “What on earth do you think you are doing?” she asked them sharply, taking in their flushed faces and crushed dresses.
“He stole Granny’s card!” Both girls replied indignantly. “That may be, but you must never go out into the night on your own. You might have got lost.”
As she anxiously gave them both a big hug they saw Daddy escorting the waiter into the room and through a different door; the waiter gave them a big glare as they went past.
Thankfully Granny had been out of the room at the time and so was unaware of the commotion.
“Come on, Granny,” called Carrie and Marrie, each taking her by the hand.”It’s present time. Can we help you open them?”
Smiling, Granny allowed herself to be led to the special table where she sat with the two proud girls, one on either side of her.
“Oh, look,” she cried, picking up the sparkly card, her face alight with happiness. “It’s from Donna in Australia...and look, she’s given me a very generous gift.”
Daddy stooped to pick up the notes as they fluttered to the floor, and in the same movement, rescued the card. Written in decorative letters, under the message, was a short poem and as Daddy read the words he smiled.
“God will look after you,
And keep you from harm.
You will always be safe,
In his loving arms.”
God had certainly kept Granny from harm this day.
I wonder why the waiter wanted the card.
Did Carrie and Marrie make the right decision to run after the waiter?
Why was Mummy angry?
Where is God in this story?
Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe today. Help us to make good decisions that keep us safe tomorrow. Amen.