Thursday, October 29, 2009
Prayer for a friend
deeper than spoken
word, prayer rises from the
well of silent hope...
What is more difficult than dealing with illness? Waiting... those interminable days or hours between test and result. The slivers of time that no matter how thin are sharply painful, as we hover between the not knowing and the finding out.
I have a friend who is waiting right now, to find out exactly what is in that tiny lump. She has hovered longer than her share of time between hope and sanity. You probably know a handful of co-workers, acquaintances, friends and family members that are enduring those elongated moments, in similar situations.
The hardest 'waiting' I ever did was in the late '90s. I had a great deal of trouble getting, rather, staying pregnant. After two losses, the third time was charm. Weeks went by until finally, the third trimester. Then a routine blood test indicated that the fetus had an 80% chance of being a Downs' Syndrome baby. I was 38 years old after all, though I passed for a decade younger and still lived in that bullet-proof zone... life before any real bad stuff. It was also the beginning of my faith journey, which didn't erase the pain, or make me forget, it was just there.Not that we wouldn't have loved and cherished a child with Downs, it was the not knowing, the waiting. Fortunately the specialist, kind enough to appreciate the suffering, called on Saturday morning to tell us our baby would be fine, genetically perfect.
If we've reached our 40s and 50s relatively unscathed, we begin to experience the loss and/or illness of family and friends, our own burdens, those life changing events that nudge us into paying a bit more attention to our priorities, how we spend our time, communicate to those we care about and open our circles and hearts a bit wider. I've traveled quite a distance on my own path to spiritual fulfillment, gaining wisdom with every test of strength and endurance.
So once again, I say a prayer for a friend who waits. Hoping not only that the news is good, but timely, not delayed by human or technical error. That in the murky depth beneath our conscious thought, the prayers will be answered.
I took the photo last Sunday at church - Maxwell Street Presbyterian - where the light always shines bright.