This afternoon, Stu told me about a prayer he had prayed recently.
He said he had been gripped by a thought about what might happen to him in the future.
"What if I die homeless?" is how he put it to me.
Unlikely as it might be, the thought had teeth, and it worried him without mercy, as such thoughts do.
He tells me he prayed a specific prayer.
"Lord" he said "please send me a sign that there are people who will love me and take care of me".
This morning, he tells me he got the answer to that prayer, in no uncertain terms.
In the first place, one of the kind men from NewSong, the church next door, offered to escort Stu over there for the Sunday service.
To multiply the blessing, our son-in-law Jerome and Rachel decided they'd like to join him at the service, too. They've been thinking along those lines for a couple of weeks, but it's interesting to me that today was the day they decided to follow through.
This afternoon, as I visited with him, I listened to the way it impacted him. Glad I was wearing an absorbent scarf-----when my grateful tears started to flow, I needed it.(I did find some Kleenex when it was time to blow my nose :-) Ha!
"Sue, it was so wonderful. Aaron came over a little after 9:30, and he walked over with me and helped me with my wheelchair. And then his wife Angie brought me a doughnut and a cup of coffee. That doughnut was so good, Sue. God just let me enjoy it. And Angie brushed the crumbs off of me, just like you would. She was so kind." He went on to mention several other people who greeted him and welcomed him, and was obviously heartened by their warmth.
"Then," he said, "when the service started, I was sitting right where we sit when you come on Wednesday, and we were singing a wonderful song about God's glory, when I felt a hand on my shoulder, and it was Jerome! And right to my right was Shayna, with the sweetest smile. I started crying then. But I really started crying when I saw Rachel. She told me they wanted to come and join me at church, and I knew it was God answering my prayer"
Well......the story stands all by itself. But I wonder if you will stay and look at it with me for just a minute, to appreciate the layers of meaning in it. Because this was not just one man's prayer that affected one man. And really, because of God's nature, every prayer is multi-layered and reverberating. In this one small example, a prayer of my own was acknowledged. I am always praying that Stu will experience God's love without me as a "middleman". The more he takes his own steps of faith, the more he owns it. And I would say that God was encouraging Aaron and Angie and the other folks at NewSong as they ministered to Stu; likewise, Rachel and Jerome. I think of the impact that such events have on my grandkids, and my imagination is not big enough to contain the depth of it. And then there is the staff at the nursing home, seeing the story play out. And the other members of the church.......are you with me? It opens up your mind to vast possibilities, doesn't it? And you know, friends, I would say that the power of prayer is in that opening up of our minds to the Greatest Mind, the Creator. When we get a glimpse of who he is, worry and fear are eclipsed by the wonder of his goodness. My own overarching prayer for every one of us is that we would "taste and see that the Lord is good".
Until next time!