Mark and Rachel and hot water.

Father God,

Mark is having surgery today. You and I both know it’s cancer. And it’s big. And you know that the surgeon said that it looks pretty contained, and you know that what I’d love is for it to disappear. The whole ice cream cone with a softball for the top. Just gone.

And Jacob’s sister is grieving the loss of her baby, the one she never got to meet, the one that was two months along.

And M doesn’t have a working water heater or a job. And you know the other items, the ones that I don’t want to put here.

I know that you aren’t counting the number of prayers, the number of people who click “like” (or “hate” since there really isn’t anyone that likes cancer or a miscarriage). And actually, I’m getting increasingly bad at being able to tell you what to do.

I mean, I can. I can say “Fix the tumor.” And that’s what I’d love. Still. (I know, I said it already. But wouldn’t it be cool? I mean, the surgeon makes the incision and there is nothing unusual. We could celebrate you so well.) But I’m not you.

What I can ask is that you will help Mark be brave facing this literally gut-wrenching incision. And that his confidence in you, which has helped me in my figuratively gut-wrenching moments, will strengthen Linda and their kids.

And I’ve got nothing to ask for Jacob’s sister other than that she will get some comfort from her mother’s arms. A mother who lives 8,300 miles away. And just happens to be with her.

And I can ask that you’ll let me know what I can do. And that you’ll help me say what you need me to say.

And I’ll just listen now. Thanks.

Oh, and thanks for letting me love these people. It’s so humbling to hurt with friends.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.