If you’re in Omaha, please drop by Parables, 112th & Dodge, between noon and 2 today, for a book signing party. My book of funny and touching Christian-based short stories, “Radiant Beams,” will be for sale for a special price, $16.95, compared to the usual $19.95. I would love to see you!

Also wanted to share three quick “beams” of joy that happened last weekend. My friend and I were in charge of collecting prizes for Post Prom at our kids’ high school. Parent volunteers collect donations and prizes for months in advance, to award that night. It’s one of the main inducements for kids to avoid doing bad things on Prom night, and instead do wholesome things at the Post Prom party.

Well, here are just three of the mini-dramas that God used that night to teach us a little more about His heart:

— One girl confided in me at about 2:30 a.m. that she wasn’t having very much fun and wanted to go home. I encouraged her to stay. For one reason, you have to be present to win a grand prize at the end of the party, nearing dawn. What if they called her name and she wasn’t there? She pondered that but I thought she would still probably leave. Hours later, they started the grand prize drawings . . . and called her name. Much to my excitement, she was still there! She came flying up to the stage with a huge grin on her face. It showed the value of “hanging in there.”

— My fellow prizes chairman and I had been told by a couple of parents, who were critical of our efforts, that some of the prizes we were presenting that night were “lame” or “nerdy.” The prizes they criticized included 6 free passes for bowling; dry cleaning coupons, a gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond, and a gift card to Applebee’s. I guess these other volunteers thought none of the teenagers would want those prizes. Well, guess what? They were among the first ones selected! The boy who selected the bowling party was ecstatic to share a fun experience with his friends. The boy who selected Bed, Bath & Beyond said that his older sister had just gotten her first apartment and he was excited to help her furnish it with that gift card. The girl who got the dry cleaning coupons said she was glad to be able to dry-clean her Prom gown and preserve it, to spare her mom that expense. The boy who got the Applebee’s card said he was going to treat his parents to dinner, for a change, and Applebee’s was their favorite place to go as a family. I love how other-centered those kids all were. Their prize selections and purposes must have made God smile. If that’s “lame” or “nerdy,” then I want to be “lame” and “nerdy” like those kids!

— One especially kind and thoughtful young lady wound up without anybody to go to the dance with. She had had the dress for weeks, had the hair appointment, etc. However, her friends kind of peeled away and joined other groups for dinner in the last few days before the event. She was very disappointed. I’m not sure if she went to the dance, anyway. But I know she went to Post Prom, because I saw her laughing with a big group of kids at a table . . . and she had a gigantic grin on her face as her name was called to come and select a grand prize that night! Ran into her father later, and he was also beaming. Turns out that she had shared with him which grand prize she would love to win. But she knew the chances were slim to none: they expected more than 500 kids at the event. Well, this father is a strong Christian. He began to pray. He prayed to God to relieve his precious daughter’s disappointment and bring friends and laughter to her that evening, anyway. And while You’re at it, God, he prayed, why don’t You see to it that she wins one of the prizes. And God, might as well make it the exact one that she wanted. AND THAT’S THE ONE SHE GOT!

Didn’t they always tell you that Prom is a magical night? It’s not magic. It’s our God! :>))

By Susan Darst Williams | www.TheDailySusan.com | Radiant Beams | © 2017