Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder
Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)
Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)
Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)
Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)
Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)
Jonathan gives some questionable theology to Laura. He says that God gets physically tired like humans, God can't take care of everybody at the same time, and it rains because people in heaven are crying. How can any of this be true? God is supernatural, so He does not experience physical needs like fatigue, hunger, thirst, etc. He also does not experience time like humans do. He is in the past, the present, and the future all at once. Finally, people in heaven are experiencing eternal happiness, so those people cannot be crying tears of sadness. Jonathan is supposed to be a messenger of God, so how does he not understand this?
Laura reaches the mountain before Charles and Mr Edwards have left to look for her, so she could not have walked, mostly in the dark and off-road, farther than about 10 miles. There are no mountains anything like this around Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where the country is almost completely flat.
The reunion scene with Charles and Laura is an emotional milestone in the series and will almost definitely leave you in tears. In previous interviews, Melissa Gilbert has said that the particular moment with Charles and Laura running to each other and hugging was exactly what Melissa had with Michael Landon off-screen. "That wasn't just Laura and Pa--that was Melissa and Mike," Gilbert has said.
When Carrie asks Charles where Laura is, he just says "She went away for a while." She asks, "Did she go with my brother?" and Caroline runs to the next room in tears, and Charles leaves the house at the same time. Strangely, neither one of them stopped to truly acknowledge this three-year-old little girl's question about where her big sister was.
Laura: (about God) I just don't understand. He just won't listen. And I prayed as hard as I could!
Jonathan: Well, like I told you, He's got a lot to do.
Laura: It's been three days now. Maybe he just doesn't want to talk to me because of all the bad things I've done.
Jonathan: No, child. No, He's forgiving. He has to be, or He wouldn't have anyone else to talk to.
Jonathan: He seems to have hurt his wing.
Laura: Will he die?
Jonathan: Well, not if someone takes care of him and nurses him back to health.
Laura: I'll do it. I'll bring him back with us.
Jonathan: Oh, that's a good idea.
Laura: He's beautiful!
Jonathan: Mm-hmm. And just think, if your cross hadn't floated all the way down here, we never would have found him.
Laura: It's almost like what you said about tears making things come alive again.
Charles: Good morning.
Caroline: Oh, I had a dream. It was Sunday.
Charles: That was a dream, this is a nightmare. It's Monday, and I'm starving!
Jonathan: He won't be up from his nap for 4 or 5 hours yet.
Laura: God takes a nap?
Jonathan: Well, sure.
Laura: I didn't think he ever got tired.
Jonathan: Oh my, yes! With all those people asking for things and getting into trouble.....that's a mighty big job.
Laura: You sure do know a lot about God, don't you, Jonathan?
Jonathan: That I do, child. That I do.
Charles: (crying after reuniting with Laura) Why? Why did you do it?
Laura: I thought you needed Charles more than me.
Charles: How could you think that?
Laura: I just did.
Charles: (hugs her again) I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. It was my fault.
Laura: It's all right now. God wants me to be with you. He told Jonathan.
Laura: I wonder if God would mind if I told you.
Jonathan: You mean, that thing you were talking about?
Jonathan: No, Laura, I don't think He'd mind.
Laura: It's just that you know Him so well and all, and I thought maybe you'd be able to tell me for sure if He can do what I'm asking.
Jonathan: Well, I might be able to.
Laura: Well, the short of it is, I want to make a trade deal with God--so I could be with Him, and my brother can come back and be with my Pa. Pa wants a son real bad.....and that's about it.
Jonathan: (long pause) Wow. That.....that's a pretty tall order.
Laura: But God can do anything.
Jonathan: Well, that's true. And He could do it, all right......if that's what He thinks is best.
Laura: Oh, it is. I explained to God about my having mean thoughts and all. And I guess that's why he took my brother, kind of by mistake.
Laura: (on top of the mountain) It sure is a long way up here, God, but I wanted to get as close to you as I could. The Reverend Alden--you know him--he said you could help me. See, God, I was supposed to pray for my brother when he was sick, so he would get better again, and.....well, I didn't do it. I had mean thoughts. I said later that I didn't really mean it, and that I really did want him to be well again, but I guess you didn't hear me. And now I want to make it right. You see, God, Pa has three girls: me, Mary, and Carrie. And what he really needs is a son, like you had, God. So I was wondering....since you already have a son, maybe you would like a little girl with you, and you could send my brother back to Pa. Well.....that's about it. I'll just wait here. (lies down on the rocks) Amen.
Laura: Jonathan.....if God answers my prayer tonight, then we won't be seeing each other anymore. And I just wanted you to know that aside from Pa and my dog Jack, you're my best friend.
Jonathan: Thank you, Laura. And don't you worry. No matter what happens, we'll see each other again. (after Laura leaves, he looks up to Heaven) A child like that makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?
Jonathan: Everyone has a mean thought once in a while.
Laura: Not my Ma and Pa.
Jonathan: Well, maybe just a little one. But the point is, you do good things to make up for it....like taking care of that bird. Why, most folks would just walk right past it and not do a thing.
Laura: I couldn't do that.
Jonathan: Of course not. But some folks do. Always in such a hurry. Always too busy to think about another one of God's creatures. All that time they spend thinking about themselves.
Laura: I bet that makes God angry.
Jonathan: Angry? Yes....but mostly sad.
Laura: I never thought of God being sad like regular people.
Jonathan: Patience, child.
Laura: I can't help it. Pa says children aren't supposed to have any.
Jonathan: Your Pa sounds like a bright man.
Laura: Oh, he is. So's my Ma. She used to be a schoolteacher, and she knows a bunch of stuff.
Jonathan: You're quite fond of your folks.
Laura: Sure. Everybody loves their Ma and Pa.
Jonathan: Then how come you ran off?
Laura: I can't tell you.
Jonathan: Fair enough.
Laura: I wish I could tell you, Mr. Jonathan. But it's just between me and God.
Laura: I don't want Pa to find me until God answers.
Jonathan: He has answered.
Laura: No He hasn't!
Jonathan: He has answered. And He's made His decision. That's why He sent your Pa. He wants you to be with your Pa and your brother to be with Him.
Laura: That isn't what I wanted. Pa wants a son!
Jonathan: No, child. That's what you thought he wanted. Only God knows best about these things. That's why He sent your Pa here, because He knows that your Pa loves you and needs you. How else could your Pa have found you?
Laura: How can you be sure?
Jonathan: He told me, child.
Carrie: Where's Laura?
Pa: She went away for a little while.
Pa: She just went somewhere.
Carrie: Did she go with my brother?
Laura: Heaven's tears.
Laura: Something Jonathan told me. God talked to him, Pa, he really did!
Laura: Why do they call it Heaven's tears?
Jonathan: Because that's what rain is. See, when the people in Heaven get sad about the things going on here on Earth, they cry. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Laura: When you tell it, it does!
Laura: (writing letter to Pa) I can't write what's in my heart because I just can't get the words to come out the end of my pencil. I did a bad thing by having mean thoughts, but I know how I can make it right again. I can't tell you the rest because it's just between me and God. I will always remember today. I love you all, Laura.
Charles: I just don't see how I could have been so blind.
Mr. Edwards: Don't start blaming yourself now.
Charles: Who else am I gonna blame? All the time I spent with the boy, talking about him.
Mr. Edwards: Well, what's done is done. When you find her, you'll make everything all right again.
Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Donnell's Vista, Clark Fork River, Iceberg Meadow and Kennedy Meadows, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.
The name of Jonathan was also used by Michael Landon for his character on Highway to Heaven, where he played an angel, and Victor French was his helper (as in this episode).
Originally aired as a 2-hour episode. Shown on the DVD and (usually) in syndication in 2 parts.
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