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Ruth And Russy is an enlightening story of faith, forgiveness and love. Barbara, the main character, is on a Godly mission that touches her heart through the love of a little boy and that holds a very surprise ending to her journey! 

The characters of Ruth And Russy where named after my father, Russell and my grandmother, his mother, Ruth... who called him Russy as a child. The pictures at the end of the story are actual photos of them taken in or about 1944. (The boy on the right was my father's older brother, Danny.)

DEDICATION: This story, as all my stories, are dedicated to my mother, Leona Tice, who was my first inspiration of imagination and creativity... and to my father, Russell Tice, who was also proud of me! :) (I will love them both dearly... forever.)


Written by: Barbara Ann Hall

As I stood amidst the beautiful countryside, I could smell the aroma of freshly cut grass mixed with a sweet scent of honeysuckle. As the sun rose higher in the morning sky, the greens of the fields began to burst with a rainbow of wildflowers.
I lifted my hands to praise God and thank Him for the beauty of the day and His many blessings in my life. After asking Him to put those He desired in my path as he continued to guide my journey, I bowed my head and prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

Upon lifting my head there was a little boy staring up at me. “Hello,” he said shyly. “Well, hello there,” I responded with a big smile. Before I had the chance to ask him his name or where he came from, he told me that his mother had prayed that prayer with him every night before she went away. Without hesitation, I felt urged to ask him if he would like to pray it with me. His face lit up as he slipped his little hands in mine and we prayed together.
“Ma’am, if you didn’t eat breakfast yet, I would be happy for you to eat with me this morning. If you want to that is.” Not knowing quite what to say, the Lord led me to accept his invitation. “Where do you live?” I asked. He pointed to a large, old house up ahead. “Are you sure there’ll be enough?” I asked, trying to feel out the situation. “Today’s a special day! There’ll be more than enough!” he exclaimed.

Eagerly, he grabbed my hand as he led the way. He told me his name was Russy and that he was seven years old. He lived with other children just like him, who had no mother or father. And, that today was a special day when visitors came to spend the day and eat meals with them. He explained that on such days, some of the visitors would adopt a kid, but that no one ever wanted him, even when he was on his best behavior.

“Oh, Father!” I prayed silently, “Bless this child and make my path before me clear, so I may help accomplish your will today.”

When we reached the house, a tall, stern woman greeted us at the door. “May I help you?” she asked me. “Glad to meet you,” I said, “My name’s Barbara. I have been invited to breakfast this morning by this fine young gentlemen.” “Ah, I see,” she said glancing down at a very excited little boy, “please, be our guest.” And she motioned for me to step inside.

I was led through the door by a warm little hand that warmed my heart. Looking around, I saw other visitors speaking with some of the children, while others where already eating breakfast at a long wooden table. “May I get you something, Miss Barbara?” my new little friend asked me. “That would be nice, Russy, thank you. I will enjoy whatever you choose for me, I love surprises!” He seemed quite tickled at that, and ran off towards the kitchen.

I found myself standing alone in a room full of people. How lonely I thought, such as the world. Old photographs lined the walls and one in specific caught my eye, a group picture of several children standing in front of the orphanage. One little girl, about eight years old or so, looked so much like Russy! But, the photograph was obviously much older than, perhaps a sibling might be.

As I stood staring at the picture, the stern woman who greeted us at the front door walked over to me. “You new in town?” she asked with a strange sort of demeanor. “No, just passing through,” I told her. “How did you end up here then?” When I looked a little surprised, she rephrased her question, “I mean, despite our efforts, no outsiders usually attend our gatherings.” “Really? I would think they would seize the opportunity!” She looked at me oddly before asking, “Are you interested in adopting? There are many fine children here looking for good homes.” “I don’t believe I’m presently in a situation to adopt a child, but if I were, I would most certainly chose Russy,” I said smiling at her. “Russy’s not up for adoption,” she was quick to inform me. “But, he…”

Just then, Russy returned with a huge plate filled with scrambled eggs, sausage and all types of pastries. “Wow, Russy! This is awesome!” I thanked him as I took the plate, “I hope you are going to share some with me.” He giggled. “I’ll be right back! I’m going to get us some berry punch too!”

When he ran off, I laid the plate on the table next to me and started again, “But he wants very much to be adopted, he feels no one wants him.” “I am very sorry he feels that way,” she said, barely above a whisper. “Maybe it’s not my place to ask, or any of my business, but please, I feel compelled, why is Russy not up for adoption?” “That is confidential information,” she informed me. “I’m not at liberty to explain. I am sorry.” As she walked away, Russy came hurrying back with two tall glasses of punch!

Russy and I enjoyed our lunch together, talking and laughing about silly things. Afterwards, he took me for a tour around the large house. He showed me where he ate his meals, where he played with his friends, where he had classes and where he slept. “Mine is the bed right in front of the window. I love it there, because at night I can see all the stars. Sometimes I even hear God talk to me!” “What does he tell you, Russy?” “He tells me that everything is going to be okay, and that one day soon I will have a new mommy!” I smiled tenderly at Russy and assured him that if anyone knew, God did.

Back downstairs, all of the young children were being gathered for their afternoon nap. Russy was upset that I might leave before he awoke. “Miss Barbara, please stay. I won’t sleep very long, I promise.” I assured him I was not in a hurry and that I would be there when he woke up. “Oh! Thank you! See you in a little while!” he called from the parade of children marching off to nap time.

When Russy was out of site, I went outside to sit on a porch swing I had noticed on the way in. The countryside was simply breathtaking, and much warmer than the early morning had been. I swung gently back and forth, mesmerizing myself as I stared up at the blue sky, practically begging God to shed some light on the situation He led me to. Just then, a voice startled me! “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you.” When I looked up, it was the stern woman from earlier. “That’s okay, I was just deep in thought is all.”

“I noticed you haven’t mingled much with any of the other children or guests this morning, Russy must have you quite amused.” “Actually yes, he’s a delightful child, and as you are probably aware, loves to talk!” Then I asked, “May I ask your name, I don’t believe I took the opportunity earlier.” “The children call me Ms. Walters, but please, call me Ruth.” “I’m very pleased to meet you Ruth.” I said sincerely, extending out my hand to hers.

I offered her to sit with me and she gladly accepted. Before I realized it, I found myself blurting out “Ruth, is there something you need to talk about?” “What do you mean?” she asked surprised. “I’m a good listener.” I said without hesitation. “I’m sure you are, but I don’t know what you mean. Why would you ask such a thing? You don’t even know me!” “Please, don’t be offended. It’s just that, well, I’m usually very good at sensing when someone needs to talk, even when I don’t know them very well. Perhaps this time I was wrong, I’m sorry.”
After an awkward moment of silence, she said, “I didn’t say you were wrong, I was just surprised is all. How did you know?” “I didn’t. I mean, I did, but not by myself.” Ruth just stared at me. “What exactly do you mean? Did someone say something about me?” “No. Not at all!” I continued to explain. “This may sound a little odd to you, but God leads me to people who need my help, and I become His hands here on earth. He provides me insight, so that His will be done. Today, I thought it was only Russy that needed God’s help, but now I’m sure it is you also.”

“You’re right, that does sound odd. I don’t even believe in God,” she said quite frank. “Well, I can assure you He believes in you. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have wasted my time,” I was quick to respond, just as frank.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to say next, so I just began to hum, Oh What A Friend We Have In Jesus. Much to my surprise, Ruth began to unconsciously sing aloud the words! “You sing beautifully,” I told her. She seemed uncomfortable, “I didn’t even realize I was singing.”
“If I were to believe you, about God wanting to help me that is, what would He have you tell me?” Ruth asked. I told her that I wasn’t yet quite sure, but that I believed it had something to do with Russy. “Maybe God sent me in answer to his prayers,” I thought aloud, “he did tell me that God talks to him at night and that he told him he would soon have a new mommy.” Then turning to Ruth I continued, “But you tell me he’s not even up for adoption. Perhaps if I knew why, it may make more sense to both of us. Because if God did send me in answer to Russy’s prayers, then you would have to be part of them.”

“Oh God!” she cried, “I am heartily sorry! Please forgive me!” She turned to me with tear filled eyes and asked, do you think God can forgive me? I told her that I had no doubt that whatever she needed Him to forgive, that upon that heart felt prayer, He already had.

I’m not sure what caused the change in her heart, but I thanked God for it. Ruth explained to me that her parents abandoned her when she was only two years old, and she herself grew up in that same orphanage she now owned and ran. When she was twelve, she started working there taking care of the younger children to earn her keep. At fifteen she had the choice to leave or take a job teaching for room and board.  She chose to stay. “It’s the only life I ever knew,” she said solemnly.
With glassy eyes, she continued, “Nine years ago, I met a man traveling through town. He was very handsome and whimsically charming. He made me feel like no one ever had before. For the first time in my life I felt alive! I loved him. We were to be married, but he left me standing alone at the altar. I never heard from him again. I picked myself up and went on, as I always had, but I promised myself that day I would never allow myself to be hurt again. Three months later I realized I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do, so I kept it a secret and gave the baby up for private adoption. Afterward, I went on as if nothing had changed, and convinced myself that nothing had. Until last year, when Russy’s parents were tragically killed in an automobile accident and I was notified that he would need to come here.”

Ruth hesitated and took a deep breath. I was hoping she wouldn’t stop there, because I was still quite uncertain what was to come. After a moment or so, she continued, “The picture you were looking at earlier, of the little girl, was me at Russy’s age. I know you noticed the remarkable resemblance. It’s hard not to.”
I then looked up at her intently, as she continued. “Russy is my son. I can’t bear to have him taken away from me again, so I just tell those interested that he’s not up for adoption due to confidential reasons.” I think she knew what my next question was going to be, because she began to cry again. “It breaks my heart that he feels that no one wants him, but I just don’t know how to tell him the truth. I feel selfish, keeping him here for me, while he feels unloved and unwanted.”
“Thank you Father,” I prayed silently, “for showing me the light”. “Ruth, I know it won’t be easy for you to tell Russy the truth. But, I believe that it won’t be quite as hard for him to accept it.” She looked at me, as if silently pleading with me to assure her that everything would be okay. “All Russy wants is to be loved and wanted. He longs for a mother. He longs for you.”

“Tell me Ruth, what would you assume God sent me here for?”  After thinking for a moment, she smiled and said, “Everything really is going to be okay isn’t it?” I nodded.

The roar of well-rested and very excited children broke the silence. Ruth and I went inside. Russy ran right over to me, “Thank you for waiting for me Miss Barbara!” he exclaimed. “Thank you Russy, for wanting me to wait! Did you say hello to Ms. Walters?” “Ah, I’m sorry Ms. Walters, I am happy to see you too!” “And I am also happy to see you Russy,” she said with tear filled eyes.

I said my good-byes to Russy, promising him that I would visit him again one day. And before leaving, I shared with him, that while he was napping God spoke to me and told me that today was the day he would find his new mommy!
As I walked down the lane, waving back to Ruth and Russy, I thanked God again for the beauty of the day and for a very unexpected, but happy ending!

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