Three O'Clock Call
When Jennifer, an orphan visiting Odyssey from another country, talks about God being a loving father, Grady is skeptical. Jennifer has never had a father, and Grady's experience with his own father leaves him doubtful that God could be the loving, dependable father that Whit says He is. Whit assures him that God will always show up, unlike his earthly father. He asks Grady to help him show Jennifer around town and maybe ask her more about seeing God as her father.
Back at Grady's house, he blows out his candles, celebrating his ninth birthday. His mother and sister get him a Powerboy t-shirt which he admires as the phone rings, precisely at three o'clock (the time Grady was born). When Grady answers the phone, no one is there. Samantha suggests that it is their father, a suggestion Grady laughs off.
The next day, at the mall with Whit and Jennifer. Grady begins to question Jennifer about God and fathers. Jennifer very confidently replies that God is her good father and explains to Grady how God takes care of her by working through other people. Grady is still skeptical, but Jennifer says she'll be praying that he will be able to see a good father at work so he can better understand God.
At the McKay home, the phone rings at three o'clock, exactly the same time as the day before. However, when Grady answers it, there's no one there. Samantha still thinks it's their dad, though Grady remains unsure.
The next morning, Grady witnesses Whit calling his daughter just to hear her voice on the answering machine. Grady rushes home to be there when the phone rings at three. Again there is no one on the line, but Grady talks for several minutes anyway, hoping his dad is listening. He asks his dad to come home, then becomes angry at his father for leaving before the line goes dead. Grady and Samantha go downstairs to visit their mother while she's working to discuss their dad with her. They both ask to call him but Kristi refuses, arguing that she doesn't know where their dad is. Samantha tells Kristi that he has been calling, but Grady assures his mom that Sam is mistaken. They all agree to hope that their dad is happy wherever he is and to be happy themselves without him. Grady asks his mother if it would be ok to talk to his dad if he did call and she reluctantly agrees.
Back at Whit's End, Jennifer and Grady say their goodbyes. Jennifer gives Grady her address and asks him to write to her. Grady confides that he thinks her prayers are working, as he believes his dad is contacting him. Jennifer, confused, tells him that she was not praying for his father but for him - that he would better understand who God is. Noticing that it is almost three o'clock, Grady runs out of Whit's End to be home for the phone call he is expecting. Once home, he bribes Sam with candy to leave him alone with the phone.
When the phone rings, Grady answers it. He apologizes for becoming angry the last time they "spoke" and asks his "dad" to meet him the next day at McAlister Park at noon. The line goes dead and Grady takes the silence as agreement.
The next day at McAlister Park, Grady waits for almost three hours and eventually falls asleep, dreaming his dad comes to see him. Whit shakes Grady awake, worried for his safety, and takes him home. When Grady questions how Whit knew to look for him, Whit credits a nudge from God. Grady begins to understand one of the things he and Jennifer discussed - how God sometimes looks like other people.
At three o'clock, the phone rings again at the McKay home. This time, Kristi answers it. An employee of Odyssey Phone is on the line, apologizing for a glitch in their computer system that has had an open line dialing their number the past few days at three o'clock. He assures her that it is fixed and apologizes for the inconvenience.
- Why was Grady so hopeful that the unknown caller was his dad?
Heard in episode
|Grady McKay||Jordan Orr|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Kristi McKay||Julianne Buescher|
|Man in the park||Unknown|
|Samantha McKay||Mary Mouser|
Mentioned in episode
|Connie Kendall||John Whittaker|
|Jana Whittaker-Dowd||John Whittaker|
- Grady turns nine years old in this episode.
John Whittaker: I think Jennifer was saying that like a father, God loves us, protects us and teaches us.
Grady McKay: If God's like a Father does it also mean he'll disappear and not show up for a few years?
John Whittaker: God is the perfect Father, Grady — better than any on Earth and He'll always show up.