Annie held her painting close as she skipped up the driveway to her house. She couldn’t wait to show her family the beautiful landscape she painted at school.
Annie heard Mom talking with her oldest brother, James, in the kitchen. Annie rushed into the kitchen for a hug. James picked her up and swung her around. When he set her down, Annie lifted up her painting, but James was already talking to Mom again. Annie knew she shouldn’t interrupt, so she went upstairs.
Annie shared a room with her older sister, Jamie. Jamie and her three friends were talking and laughing while they waited for Mom to drive them to violin lessons.
“Look at my painting!” Annie said.
The girls looked up.
“That’s really good, Annie,” Jamie said. “Tell me about it.”
“Well, these are the mountains, and—”
“Girls! Let’s go!” Mom called.
Jamie and her friends grabbed their violins and rushed downstairs without another look at the painting.
Annie sighed. Then she heard the garage door open. Annie ran downstairs to meet Dad just as he walked through the door. He was holding his phone to his ear when Annie hugged him.
“Dad!” she exclaimed, holding up her painting.
“Shh,” he said, pointing to the phone. He smiled and gave her a hug, then walked away.
Annie felt sad. No one had time for her today. Annie put her painting on the fridge with a magnet.
That night in family scripture study, Annie’s brother Sam read from 3 Nephi. He read about Jesus inviting the multitude to feel His hands and side.
“What would you do if you were in the multitude, Annie?” Dad asked.
“What’s a multitude?” Annie asked.
“It’s a very big group of people.”
“Then I don’t know,” she said quietly. “He might not have time for me.”
“It might seem that way,” Dad said. “But let’s read another verse.”
They turned to chapter 17, verse 21.
“‘And he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them,’” Dad read.
“Jesus had time to bless all of those children?” Annie asked.
“Yes.” Dad smiled. “Sometimes Mom and I are busy and it’s hard for us to do more than one thing at the same time. But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ always have time for you.”
Annie felt better. When the family knelt down to pray, Dad asked Annie to say the prayer. She imagined Heavenly Father listening. It made her happy to know that He is always ready to listen.
The next morning as Annie was getting ready for school, she noticed her painting had been taken from the fridge, put in a frame, and hung on the wall. She smiled. She knew that even if she had to wait a little, her parents always had time for her too.
Illustration by Maryn Roos