My most life-changing memory from my middle school years started with the decision one day to skip school. Like every other school day I ate breakfast, got dressed, and then headed out the door for my mile hike to school. However, this day I had a different plan. After taking a short detour, I would wait around the block for my mom to leave for work, and then would head back home to enjoy my self-appointed day off. Initially, everything worked according to plan… mom drove off to work and then I circled back home for a day of relaxation. However, after several hours of lazily watching TV from the couch, I was surprised to hear a car pull into the driveway. Peeking out the window, I saw it was my mom who had unexpectedly come home for lunch. I had to act fast. After turning off the TV, I darted upstairs and slid under the bed where I quietly waited.

Minutes passed by as I patiently waited for mom to finish her lunch. Then, I heard what I had feared… the sound of footsteps walking up the stairs. I held my breath. Fortunately, mom walked by my room and into her room. That’s when things got strange. As I quietly laid under the bed, I heard my mom begin to talk to someone. I knew she was alone, and there was no phone in the room, so who was she talking to? Listening more intently, I realized she was praying. That alone was impactful. It wasn’t dinner time or bedtime, and no one else was around. Why would she be praying? But it was the content of her prayer that was life-changing. As I listened to my mom’s prayer, I realized she was praying for me, and for my brother.

A few minutes later mom finished her prayer, headed downstairs and out the door to go back to work. That was my signal to crawl out from under the bed and resume my day off. Close call… but disaster avoided. I never got caught for skipping school that day and my mom never knew she had an audience under the bed while she prayed. But that moment had a profound impact on my life and is forever etched in my memory.

Several years later, the summer of high school graduation, I accepted Christ as my Savior. To my surprise, that created a buzz at my church. One day after church, a middle aged woman approached me with a warm smile on her face. She explained that for years my mother prayed for me at their weekly ladies prayer meeting. Of course she did. I just smiled, while thinking back to that moment several years earlier under the bed.

Today as a parent, I pray for my own children… that they would genuinely know God and faithfully walk with Him. Thanks, mom, for that gift. It’s the best thing I’ve ever found under the bed.

—Steve Booth