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Be Their Healing

My mother was dearly beloved by her maternal grandfather, John K. Leigh, or so my grandmother told me. Doted over, actually, and perhaps a bit spoiled. Apparently, he gave her whatever she asked.

“There was one thing she wouldn’t ask for,” Mamma told me. “She really wanted a horse, but she knew he couldn’t give that to her, so she didn’t ask.”

Why? If he loved her that much wouldn’t he find a way to get her that horse?

Until today I thought this was a story of fear. The fear of a little girl who so needed to preserve a perfect relationship with her grandfather that she withheld her heart’s greatest desire. But today, I see it differently. I think mom was so in tune with her grandpa’s love for her that, when he came near, she no longer had this desire. She was satisfied.

God says ask. Yet, sometimes we don’t. Is it because we don’t think He’ll give it to us? Afraid He’ll turn us down? Afraid he’ll turn out not to be the God we thought He was?

I don’t think so. I think we don’t ask because we’re afraid of being chastised for wrong-requesting. How dare you ask when others are so much more in need? Don’t you realize I have bigger things to attend to? Or lack of trust: Don’t you know that I have everything in hand here?

OR do we fail to ask because, from a distance, we look to God and think, there’s really nothing to be done here. He can’t give me that horse. Better shelve it and stick to reasonable requests.

The thing is, God doesn’t want us to pray from a distance. He wants us to pray up close. So much so that He’s promised to be right there next to us. And in that proximity, the asking we had in mind from a distance changes. The please don’t let it be cancer. The please don’t let it be my child. The please don’t let it be terminal. The please let there be another way…those prayers meld into one: Lord, please be their healing.

And the Lord, ever so close, bends and whispers in my ear, I am.

Perhaps He was whispering it from afar, too, but I couldn’t hear Him. Healing may come now or later. It may be complete on this side of life or be completed in the hereafter. But it will come. In fact, it is come, because the Lord of life has said so.

Today I boldly pray without reservation, Lord, be their healing. He loves them that much.


Can we stop now?

A wonderful woman I know sent a request to our prayer chain: she was being admitted to the hospital with an irregular EKG. Oh, my. I must pray. Five days later I see pictures on her Facebook page of wedding cake and a wonderful celebration. Guess I can stop praying now. I am guessing it was a false alarm and can see what might have disrupted the heart rhythm, but still…

Why do we alert God when we are in need but not celebrate with God when we are released from need? Over and over He satisfies our requests and we move on, forgetting to say thank you.

We get distracted, of course. I am totally guilty. I tell the group to get in plank position, start my watch shouting go, then wander about the group correcting form and speaking encouragement – totally forgetting the time until some poor diligent child, looks up at me red-faced and arms shaking and pleads, “Can we stop now?”

And I sheepishly shout, “stop!” Then I wonder just how long that 20 second plank actually went on.

We humans are a distractable bunch. Getting caught up in the good we are doing and the difference we are making, totally forgetting the whom of the good and the difference.

Oh, a few extra planking seconds won’t hurt them, right? Just like those few extra prayers won’t hurt her, right? In fact, God being God would probably just apply them to the new situation without telling us.

But I need the reminder that prayers go both ways, just like plank and rest. It’s in the rhythm of the start and stop, that we stay on course. The ask, then listen. The effort, then rest.

When I finally remembered to shout REST! to those 12 year old plankers I do think I heard one say, “Thank God!” I would do well to pay better attention to them and to the time.

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