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All I Can Do Is Pray. (Is That All?)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, October 21, 2014

be grateful you have a glass

All I Can Do Is Pray. (Is That All?)

I was sitting in church on this gray October day. Quiet, almost sleepy afternoon. I went out into the larger office, passed by the administrator’s desk. My coffee had gotten cold, and I wanted to warm it up in the microwave oven. Lo and behold, I saw the shadow of a man through the blinds. I recognized him, and let him in.

He came into the hallway, and made a beeline for the pew against the wall. He had a hard luck story. (Of course.) I believed most of it. I have seen individuals similar to him and his partner. In poor health to begin with, continuing health problems, fired or let go from their jobs, long-term unemployed. What is a person to do? How can they get on their feet and start climbing when the bottom rung of the ladder is so high to begin with?

I was fortunate. There was a little money knocking around the church. (Unusual!) Plus, I gave him the last gift card from Subway. He really was grateful. More of the story came out after I sat with him in the sanctuary. Listening, actively. I asked a few, kind follow-up questions, just trying to get more information out of him. He was ready to talk, and how!

I’ve met people before who spilled the beans, told me all sorts of things. This man was very much after the same pattern. After listening for a while, and letting him know I actively heard him, I suggested closing in prayer before he left. Oh, boy! You should’ve seen his eyes light up! He was so grateful for the prayer. I had him read a few sentences out the prayer and resource section of the hymnal just before I closed, too.

I wish that I had had more money to give away this morning. But, alas, just about “all” I had to give away was a Subway coupon, and prayer. Prayer. What about that? How do you feel when someone has a real, deep need. Even a devastating need. What then?

I couldn’t help but think of the poor man in front of me, and his partner. And the verse for the month of October, too. Proverbs 19:17 – “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full.” God, this dear man is dearly loved by you.

Sometimes, people ignore or even look down on those who don’t even have two coins to rub together. Help me remember these sad facts. God, help this dear man and his partner—and all of their family, too. You are so amazing, keeping track of countless events, and people, and places to hide. Help me, God, just like You come alongside of anyone who needs You. Thank You, Lord.

@chaplaineliza

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