Frankie.

I prayed with and for Frankie. He was at the hospital. He was a friend and a mentor, though he downplayed that part. Each time I visited, I prayed.

It happened each time others visited. And there were many visits. There were many prayers.

My friend died.

IMG_2853.JPGWhich means, of course, that prayer doesn’t work.  If “working” means that bodies broken by years of illness and hard work are somehow divinely kept working indefinitely. But bodies wear down and then wear out.

We know from early in our lives that we will arrive at “some day.” But over and over in my hospital room conversations, I hear an awareness that “some day” is always surprising when it is today.

People want prayer. And we pray. And death still comes.

May I tell you a secret? I sometimes don’t pray that a person will be restored to health. In my conversations with God, that’s not always the most important thing to ask for.

I do almost always ask that doctors will be given wisdom beyond their training. I ask that we will be given compassion beyond our own hearts. I ask that families be given a peace that makes no sense, so that God’s presence will be recognized. I ask that a person be aware of God’s conversation in the way that God knows they recognize. I ask for relationships to be restored.

And I thank. I thank God for life. I thank God that I am getting to know this person. I thank God for the breath so far, the wisdom so far, the hope so far.

And I thank God that as much as we may love him, we are loved by him even more.

Frankie died. I’m pretty sure that prayer doesn’t “work”, not in the way a formula or spell works.  But I’m just as sure that God talks with me in those rooms.  And with those people.

And with you.

+++

Even though Lent started last week, you can still purchase Lent for Non-Lent People. It’s available in paperback and for Kindle (for just 99 cents).

Advertisements

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.

3 thoughts on “Frankie.

  1. Sorry for your loss.

    Chaplaincy over time does challenge our concepts of prayer. I think it’s because we get so much more experience and grapple more with the results. Thanks for your post.

    Like

Comments are closed.