Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Word of Prayer

On a personal note, a staple of my daily inbox -- one which means more than I could express -- are the requests of prayers for various things from the readership.

Just so you know, though, remember that your narrator is not an oracle nor a spiritual leader by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite, actually; if an intention really means a lot to you, I might actually be the one person you wouldn't want praying for it... the Boss upstairs might just close his ears, run away, or something. At least, as that's the reaction I often get from those clerics who are big on the whole "I am the alter Christus" bit, I've come to think it a sign.

I was telling a friend about this the other night and she asked me if I actually did pray for each and every one. How could anyone not? Horrible as I am at the act, to pray for others when they ask is the least we can do for each other and, if nothing else, it's a very human means of uplift to someone going through a rough moment to know that they're being remembered.

If I were to post all the requests from people experiencing illnesses, family issues, job/money woes, anxieties and crosses of all sorts, we'd be here 'til the next Holy Year. Suffice it to say, I learn more from the correspondence I get each day than you could ever learn from me over several eternities, and the perseverance, strength and faith so many of you show while bearing intense suffering -- whether in your own lives or in aiding others with great patience, concern and love -- never ceases to inspire and remind me that, indeed, we really have been blessed to experience something beautiful in this church. I don't know how you each get through as you do, but to learn and know each experience is a gift. Thank you.

And for the rest of us, a key part of this whole "being church" thing is to keep an eye out for and a presence with each other, especially for those among us having a tough ride. The Lord often reveals his goodness not from the skies, but in the unexpected goodness and presence of others when we need it most. So we need to keep looking out for those moments where we can actually be of help... it doesn't take much effort to find more than a handful of those. Whether in a literal or figurative sense, you might just find yourself saving a life, and doing so is not as hard as you'd think.

A few requests this week have been particularly moving, and the situations extremely difficult, hence this post. In light of these, I just ask that you keep everyone you know, and everyone you don't, who's been dealt a truly overpowering hand in your own prayers, that they find the strength to keep on and that their burden may be lightened, whether through consolation, recovery or the assistance of others. And know that, whatever situation the moment finds you in, each of you, your loved ones and good intentions remain in my remembrances every day. Again, it's the least we can do for each other.

As always, thanks for reading and God love you all.