In my dreams I can still walk and speak normally with people. When I wake up I realize I am still imprisoned in a broken body. The bars are still on the windows.
This morning that thought turned quickly to people I know, stuck behind real bars in real prisons. One is the son of a pastor I knew. He got a 40+ years sentence for defrauding some insurance customers. I was one. I thought about him waking up this Sunday morning, still behind bars and no way to change that. I prayed for him. I hadn’t thought about him in years. Was this one reason I was given to wake up today? To pray for him?
It was early but Melanie was also stirring awake. I got up and went to the living room, to the chair by the music stand holding the hymn book. We were both still getting over our allergies and too noisy with coughing and choking to go out in civilized society. We had decided to wait another week to go to church so as not to annoy and distract fellow worshippers. I opened the hymnbook and sang for half an hour. I sounded croaky and awful but I hoped Jesus could hear my heart.
Melanie came to pour my breakfast nutrition into my stomach tube. Then, using her cellphone, she began reading a devotional from the Sacred Space web page.
There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God’s love.
On Saturday I had written my brother-in-law whose wife died last month. I told him I kept praying things would change for me and Jesus would heal me. I told him I knew things were not going to change back for him. He had written back admitting he had some faith issues right now. Was this one reason I was given to wake up today? To pray for him?
At lunch time, in spite of our glop-throats, Melanie wanted to take us to the spring meeting of the Order of St. Luke prayer team at our church. She would have lunch. I would sit there at the table. We would leave the meeting early, after asking the team to pray for us.
Melanie gave a report on our circumstances. She told them how she missed being able to pray regularly with them. I didn’t trust my voice to say anything except I asked that they pray as often for Melanie as for me, if not more. And I motioned the lady who does the visitation ministry for sick and elderly shut-ins to come near. I told her since I had been knocked down by a stroke, I had come to recognize how precious home visits by friends were to me. I encouraged her to keep at her work. I had learned that such visits carry a great weight of blessing. I nearly couldn’t finish the words. When I was still on the church staff, I had sometimes gone with her on those visits. I had never thanked her before for making herself available like that. Was this one reason I was given to wake up today? To pray for her?
Melanie and I made our way back to the parking lot. I was choking and trying to clear my throat but managed to hold off until we were in the car. Only Melanie had to put up with the noise.
On the way home she stopped to get a few groceries. I turned on the radio in the van and listened to Garrison Keillor sing about following a girl into a church “but I didn’t have divinity on my mind.”
When we got home a wasp flew in the open door and began buzzing around the kitchen. Just now, I move too slowly to catch it. I just pray.
A couple of next day updates. One friend wrote me with her story.
About 29 years ago I was in hospital dying when a dear friend, whilst on holidays, was woken up with the clear understanding she was to pray urgently for me. She hadn’t even thought about me for ages but the urgency was clear so she got out of bed, marched around the living room and prayed in the Spirit for me.
It was as if someone had flicked the switch of my life and I came around and was discharged from hospital very quickly..!!
I have never been admitted to hospital for my lupus since that time, glory to God! The obedience of my friend to intercede in the middle of the night saved my life!
Sometimes we find out the impact of our prayers – but more often we don’t. Ours is simply to listen to God and be His willing vessel.
As for that wasp that flew into our house, Melanie got it by spraying it with window cleaner. I’ve been pondering the symbolism of that given the title I posted for this blog.