Joseph Anderson Donetti
Comes to Oregon
Joseph Anderson Donetti -- Comes to Oregon, Chapter 2
Snakes and Lizards
Joseph Anderson Donetti looked up at the gray-haired woman beside him. "I'm going to Oregon to stay with my grandmother for a while," he muttered. He did not add that he had never even seen his grandmother before. He did not add that he was very angry about being sent to stay with a perfect stranger.
The gray-haired woman looked back at him. "My name is Mrs. Boyd," she said. She held her hand out to him. "What's your name?"
Joseph shook hands with Mrs. Boyd. Shaking hands made him feel quite grown up. "My name is Joseph Anderson Donetti," he said.
"Well, Joseph Anderson Donetti, I'm happy to meet you," Mrs. Boyd replied.
Joseph looked at Mrs. Boyd. He wasn't sure what was the proper thing to say. He wasn't used to meeting new people. He already knew everybody in his neighborhood. And he never went anywhere else. Until now.
Mrs. Boyd looked back at him. Her eyes twinkled. It was almost as if she knew what he was thinking. "We don't have much time here," she said. "Now that you know who I am and I know who you are and we know why God put us next to each other on this plane, we'd better get busy."
"What do you mean, God put us together on this plane?" Joseph asked
"You told me that you don't go to church. You said you don't know about God. Well, I know Him. And I know that He wants you to know Him. I'm sure he put us together on this plane so I could introduce Him to you."
Joseph looked away. This was just too weird. He was trapped. He was tied in an airplane seat, miles in the air, next to a gray-haired woman who wanted to introduce him to God!
"I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," Joseph said, looking back at Mrs. Boyd.
Mrs. Boyd actually laughed out loud. "OK," she said. "Fair enough." She picked up the fat paperback book from her lap and opened it up. She began to read again.
Joseph looked up the aisle of the plane. The flight attendant was passing out lunches. He put down the little tray table in front of him and waited. Soon the flight attendant gave him his tray. He had a sandwich and a brownie and an apple and a carton of chocolate milk. It was just like a school lunch. He dug in.
Mrs. Boyd ate her lunch while she read. She chewed and read and quietly turned pages. Joseph leaned toward her and looked past her out the window. Mrs. Boyd didn't even seem to notice. Joseph leaned back. He chewed and looked around. He watched the man across the aisle eat and read a magazine. Reading seemed to be a popular thing to do on an airplane.
The flight attendant came to collect the lunch garbage. Joseph slid his into the plastic bag she was holding. Mrs. Boyd reached across Joseph and threw away her garbage. She never looked up. She just kept reading.
Joseph squirmed in his seat. Surely there must be a bathroom on this airplane. He wondered where it was. He felt a little shy about asking the flight attendant. He squirmed again.
"The bathroom is in the back of the plane," Mrs. Boyd said, never looking up from her book.
Joseph looked at her in amazement. How could she know that's what he was wondering? He unhooked his seat belt and stood up.
It was the strangest bathroom Joseph had ever seen. A person could hardly turn around in it, it was so small. The sink was small. The faucet handles were small. The toilet was amazingly tiny. It looked just like a little silver bowl. He'd have to remember to tell Danny about this when he got home!
Joseph walked back up the aisle to his seat. Mrs. Boyd was still reading. Joseph was beginning to feel sorry he had told her that he wasn't supposed to talk to strangers. She wasn't exactly a stranger. He knew her name. And she certainly wasn't forcing her attentions on him. That was the kind of stranger he wasn't supposed to talk to—the kind who tried to get you to do something you didn't want to do or knew you shouldn't do.
Joseph looked at Mrs. Boyd. He cleared his throat. "I have a lizard in my pocket," he whispered.
Mrs. Boyd looked up. "Maybe he would like to meet the snake in my purse," she whispered back.
Joseph Anderson Donetti laughed. He settled back into his seat. "Do you really know God?" he asked.
Mrs. Boyd put her book back in her lap. "Yes," she said. "I do. Do you want me to tell you about Him?"
"Well," she began, "God made everything there is. He made the universe, all the stars, the sun, the moon, this world, and everything in it." She stopped and looked at Joseph. "God made me, and He made you. And God loves me, and He loves you. That's the first thing He wants you to know. That He loves you more than you can imagine."
"God knows me?" Joseph asked. "God knows me? Joseph Anderson Donetti?"
"Yes." Mrs. Boyd nodded. "The Bible says that He knew you before you were even born. It says He knit you together inside your mother."
"God knit me?"
"That means He planned everything about you. He planned how tall you would be. He carefully picked out the color for your eyes. He decided just what shade your hair would be. He even gave you a love for lizards."
"I do like lizards!" Joseph said. "Did you know that there are almost 3,000 different kinds of lizards? Did you know that there is a lizard called the Komodo dragon? My mom says it grows almost as long as my bedroom! It's not the kind of lizard you can keep in your pocket," he added.
"O-o-o! What was that?"
Mrs. Boyd sat up straight and tightened her seat belt. "It feels like we will be landing soon," she said.