Forgiveness Friday: Compassionate Prayer

I pray on the principle that wine knocks

the cork out of a bottle.

There is an inward fermentation,

and there must be a vent.

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Oh my goodness.

I’m involved, thankfully, in a very intense exchange of messages and posts among some online friends who are fighting for their child’s life. For real!

A week or so ago a friend started a message thread to several moms that asked for prayer because her son had attempted suicide. Soon after, another mom announced that her child was having severe behavior issues at school and that things were not looking good at all. A few days later one of the other moms had to announce that her adult son with special needs was suddenly gravely ill. Sadly, his funeral is tomorrow. Word arrived this morning on this thread that yet another mom was having her child air-cared to the hospital and is in grave condition.

Why is this thread something I am thankful for today? Certainly not because I enjoy drama in the form of real life crisis.

It’s because I’m reminded that prayer is so real, and so doable. I’ve never met any of these women. A few of them have met at conferences and the like, but to my knowledge, most of the connections between the women that the thread started with are by way of prayer and online communication.

Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.  ~Samuel M. Shoemaker

Have you ever had the sudden feeling that you were being prayed for? It’s odd. Cool, but odd. I had it happen a week or so ago. No clue who it was rallying the angels on my behalf, but it really did feel like an out of the blue – whoosh of, fresh air. This is good, because I was, and continue to be in a knot of worry. When I get this way I really can’t pray much. I try not to worry about that. These issues and days and phases always pass, and like trying to remember how to do a certain dance move, my conversations with God start right back up again and we carry on together in a slightly different light. Well, sometimes the change is massive. Depends on the crisis load at the time!

In the mean time, I remain thankful that I am being prayed for by others, and even more thankful that I am being kept in the loop of these mom friends who are humble enough to admit their pain and willing to ask for help.

I stumbled on an article yesterday that is about compassion fatigue. Author Trevor Hudson explains that “Self-love and other-love are bound together.” Simple concept…but often forgotten and avoided, especially during crisis. I’m going to copy and post the whole thing in another spot. If you want to read the whole thing (it’s short!) you can find it here.

Phew. Life. Details. Stress. Phew.

Much peace to everyone, about, well, every thing!

Forgiveness Friday: Discreet 101

Then, Jesus clearly warned the (recently healed) man. “Don’t tell anyone about your cure! Go! Show your skin to the priest. Then give to the Temple, just as Moses commanded. That should show them!”

After that, Jesus kicked the man out.

Mark 1: 43-44

Huh?

This smells fishy at the first read. Sounds like it’s time for some sack cloths that say:

paranoia will destroy ya.

Special attention could be given to the instruction from Jesus to not “tell” in this weekend’s Gospel story about a leper being healed.

“Telling” vs. “Not Telling” is the main topic of conversation between my ten year old son and I right now. After moving to a larger town and school, our Joe has been exposed to larger and more diverse groups of children. In his mind, he has gone from cozy to mega, but really it is exactly what his dad and I would wish for in a small school and manageable class size.

Initially, our hard work paid off each day by pumping him with the promise that investing himself in a larger and more assorted mix of friends would bring him to a whole new level of happy.

And pay off it did! Though there was more than one tearful bedtime that included “I hate this place…I miss my old friends…no one likes me here,” for the most part his boundless extroversion paid off and his initial goal to have one best friend has expanded to trying to figure out how to manage his large group of best friends.

The flip side? He is in overdrive with trying to figure out what a clique is vs. a group, what exactly defines bullying, and what to do with the fact that girls are not disgusting during every minute of the day.

Which brings us back to the Gospel snippet which began this post.

Here is the whole story:

Mark 1:40-45

40 A leper approached Jesus, fell to his knees, and pleaded, “Jesus, if you want to, you can make me whole again.”

41 Jesus had such deep feelings for the leper, he reached out and touched the man. “I want you to get better. Be whole again.” 42 At that moment, the disease left the man. 43-44 Then, Jesus clearly warned the man. “Don’t tell anyone about your cure! Go! Show your skin to the priest. Then give to the Temple, just as Moses commanded. That should show them!” After that, Jesus kicked the man out.

45 But, after the man left, he talked about Jesus all the time. Because of his comments, Jesus could not enter any town in the open. Instead, he stayed in places where he could be alone. But people from everywhere kept coming to see him.

This morning while reading and listening to this story, I couldn’t help but remember a talk I had with Joe the other day on the way to basketball practice. It went something like this:

Mom: Joe, I was wondering if you know what paranoid means?

Joe: (huge sigh) Yesssss mom, it means to get on someone’s nerves.

Mom: Oh, I think you might be thinking of annoyed. No, I meant paranoid which is when someone worries way, way too much about bad things that people could be thinking or saying about us. Sometimes it’s true that some of that nasty stuff is going on, but almost always it’s not as bad as we think.

This got him talking a little bit about his concern that I was spreading rumors among the fourth grade moms about some of his less favorable transgressions from before we moved.

Which…led to talk #346 which is

The Big Difference Between Private and Secret

Mom: Here’s the deal Joe, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t keep secrets because secrets are about shame and I am nothing but proud of you. I DO keep things private though, and no, I didn’t tell all the moms about XYZPDQ because it isn’t any of their bizwax.

Joe: K. Gotta go. Coach is right there.

So, when the leper who had been healed boogied off to town and bragged up Jesus, he wasn’t spreading a long-held secret, he was just excited. But, the consequence of his lack of discreetness was that Jesus had no privacy and doing his work became complicated and, as we now know, very dangerous.

Glad that I took a minute to soak this story up – I’m sure it won’t be long before I am forced into some awkward mom situation again, and I hope I can keep my word to my kid.