They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
But when Peter Gaustad of Baxter came into the Dispatch with this photo of his 4-year-old grandson, Bodean, I had no words - only tears.
And I wasn't alone in my reaction.
"Some ladies at the mall did the same thing you did," Peter Gaustad explained softly, with tears in his eyes too.
However, others who have seen the photo have been hesitant in their reactions. They think the photo is posed.
According to Steve Gaustad, Bodean's father, who is studying to be a pastor and is interning at Elmwood Evangelical Free Church in St. Anthony where the photo was taken, the moment was definitely spontaneous.
Four-year-old Bodean Gaustad knelt in silent prayer earlier this month at Elmwood Evangelical Free Church in St. Anthony where his father Steven Gaustad is interning as associate pastor. Peter Gaustad of Baxter submitted this spontaneous photo of his grandson having a private conversation with God.
"My son, Bodean, was playing with his sisters, Brooke and Baysia, after church a couple Sundays ago. Everyone had left the sanctuary and the lights were turned off. The sun was shining in from an upper window in the sanctuary," Steve Gaustad said. "My wife, Ry-Chel, was visiting with a friend out in the hall when Brooke and Baysia came to her and Brooke said, 'Mom, come look at Bodean!'"
Ry-Chel Gaustad and her friend, Kate, looked in the doorway and saw Bodean kneeling in prayer. Kate happened to have a camera in her purse and quietly snapped the photo.
"As a father and mother, we have been deeply touched by this," Steve Gaustad said. "We're so grateful that our son knows that he has a father in heaven that he can go to in prayer."
When asked what he was praying about, Bodean wasn't interested in talking about it.
And that's OK with Bodean's dad as he says it's all about having a personal relationship with Christ.
"We can learn so much from children. Bodean has always been sensitive to the needs of others and he prays," Steve Gaustad said. "This photo is such a gift to us. It's hard to put into words what this means to us as parents. Children are a precious gift from God."
DeLYNN HOWARD, staff writer, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5850.
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