Sunday, December 09, 2007

Called to love through prayer

Although William Law and I would not have agreed on many things, he is the author of one of my favorite sayings. When Asher and Jacob were born, thousands of people throughout the world (literally) came to pray for these two amazing little boys. One day when I was reading a book of quotes, I stumbled upon one by Law which said, "There is nothing that makes us love someone so much as praying for them." When I read this, my eyes could not help but well up with tears, as it touched at the heart of what so many of us were experiencing at that moment.

I have been working somewhat diligently today on another project for my Epistles course. As I was studying Paul and the core teachings in his letters, I was been unable to control my mind from drifting. I've read over and over again about the call to unity as the Body of Christ. In the context of Philippians, it is the call to be unified in the midst of proclaiming the Gospel. In our little internet community, it is still the call to proclaim the Gospel, but in the form of praying and supporting those who have become family even though we have never met.

While making dinner, I thought back to last year when I attended Christi Thomas' funeral mass. This was yet another beautiful child I had never met yet fell in love with over years of following her battle with neuroblastoma. There were many who thought I was crazy for driving five hours to a funeral when I knew no one, yet my internal reaction was always "but I did know her". I knew Christi as I journeyed with her via the internet through her treatments, through her jokes and outings, through her last days. Most importantly, I knew her and fell in love with her and her family through prayer. That is what compelled me to go and it is what made a five hour drive feel like minutes. I just knew in my heart I had to be there.

When William Law says there is nothing that makes us love someone as much as prayer does, he is speaking complete truth. I know many of you who have joined in praying for the caringbridge community understand this fully. During the last couple of months, we have lost so many on Asher and Jacob's Friends list. In the midst of celebrating the holidays, there has been a deep sorrow in knowing so many were losing their loved ones. In a way, we have been grieving alongside each family. In the suffering of these families, our hearts are broken.

I have been asked by some why I continue to follow these families when there is so much sorrow involved. I've been told to protect myself from unneccesary grief. Yet I know, as i'm studying in Paul, the call is to love. It is to love and risk the suffering, as Christ loves us so much he suffered on our behalf. We are co-crucified with Christ, participating in his suffering and death. Loving others includes suffering, it is not free from pain and grief. Our call to proclaim the Gospel includes taking such risks in order to pray for others. It is the gift God has given us. I will take the risk, as the reward is so much greater. To love others and see Christ in them is one of the great blessings I have experienced. So, I will shed the tears and continue to love these children of God through prayer.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laura,

All I can say is AMEN, Sister! You have nailed it exactly.

Sharon

Grandma7 said...

Laura . I want to thank you so much for what you do with Asher and Jacob's site.I am so glad I came to read your blog. The sadness has just overwhelmed me for the last 2 months. But I can't turn my back on these precious little ones and big ones too. I so wish I could do more for them all, but I can PRAY. In my heart they are all my grandchildren.
I am so glad your foot is doing better. And "YES" therapist take perverse pleasure in their jobs. I know from experience. My back surgery Oct.31 was the 5th back and neck surgery. total of 13 all together.And they just love to torture you lol. Take care and hope the foot continues to do well. I am almost back to normal ,so I count my blessings everyday. Since I started coming to Caringbridge 2 years ago..I do NOT whine about my problems anymore. What these litle ones go through makes my problems seem minute. God Bless!
Darline Rollins

Sue said...

Laura
You are so wise for your years. I just love to read what you write. I agree it has been two years of me following cambridge families and sometimes the heart ache is more than I think I can bare but the prayer and love I have for them has carried me through my own grief. I am returning home with me family for the holidays in just a few days and somehow it feels better; still sad knowing my dad won't be there but better. I wish a blessed holiday season and I believe best wishes as you travel to a very important meeting, right?
In Prayer
Sue

Anonymous said...

Christian Barker earned his wings. His parents have posted.