"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/13/08

Empathy

My Wednesday night prayer meeting was...well...something else. And maybe not for the usual reasons.

As I mentioned in my last blog, Wednesday is the fifth anniversary of Marc's first brain surgery. It has been a pretty emotional day in general, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Well, this evening, I took my kids to Wednesday night children's church, and I went to prayer meeting, as usual. (Marc's generally too tired by the end of the day to do anything outside rest)

One of the prayer requests was for one of our church's shut-ins. She was scheduled for surgery to drain some liquid from her brain this afternoon. It was supposed to take about an hour. When our visitation pastor called the hospital right before prayer meeting--a good three or more hours after it had started--she was still in surgery.

Can you say "flashback?"

I spent the next half hour, at least, focusing on nothing but praying for this woman (who I'm fairly certain I've never met) and her step-son (who was my adult Sunday School teacher last spring) and his wife. I felt such empathy for her and her family, and such a need to pray. I even went as far as to kneel in front of my chair (which I can only recall doing maybe twice in my life), tuning out the other prayers people were praying. I could think of nothing else--and I'm still praying for her.

It reminds me of a Bible verse that came up in a Ladies' Bible Study during Marc's health issues, and that I've held onto as one of the "reasons" for our trial.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
I can give this woman and her family the very same comfort that God gave me through my trials. I can pray more intelligently, meet their needs more effectively, because I have been there.

What a blessing to see how this trial has grown me. Especially today.

5 comments:

  1. (((Jo))) Flashbacks are useful like that, but boy, they sure are rough on the emotions!

    Love you, Sweetie!

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  2. I held onto that verse, too, Joanne, and find much comfort in being able to reach out to others who are struggling with the same issues I did. Wonderful how the Lord gives to us through our troubles and then He uses us to give to others, too.

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  3. This is the power and passion of our Christ at work! He takes what we consider to be the worst and uses it for His glory.

    Thinking about you today.

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  4. Oh, JO...we just studied in our ladies' Bible study in II Cor. how God allows us to go through different experiences for His glory, to be able to learn from them and help others.

    Praying that God will continue to use it to bless others.

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  5. (((hugs))) Hard memories, I'm sure.

    Thanks for the wonderful verse. So often I find that God does indeed use my empathy for others with health concerns. It's special to see how He uses our trials for good, isn't it?

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