How to handle requests

My day was like your days. Busy.

I worked on several projects in the morning. I went to the hospital for the 2:30 pm shift.

Driving out, I realized that I hadn’t written 300. Walking the half-mile from the far lot to our office, I thought, “God, would you help me find a post?” (That’s what praying is, often. Thinking with God.)

Chaplain mugsI spent the shift responding to requests all around the building. A couple of traumas. A couple of rapid responses. Some conversations about power of attorney and health care representatives. A notarization. It was the steady stream of interactions that you have, too. The daily busyness, the constant motion.

But no time to think about a post.

I asked Nancy for a word, just to get my thinking moving. “Requests,” she said. It was, I knew, the perfect summary of my shift, my day. Responding as well as I could to requests that would help people take the next step on some road.

In one conversation, an adult son said, “Mom wanted to do these healthcare and financial arrangements last summer. But we didn’t get around to it. We prayed for her health.”

I smiled. “We need to pray and to do the paperwork,” I said. Asking God to keep her alive indefinitely without taking care of the durable power of attorney means that someday she won’t be able to take care of her finances or herself.

I didn’t have time to write when I got home. It was last. I searched my archives for “requests.” I found a post about Paul, about his despair, God’s provision of strength, and the prayer of his friends. It was helpful for me. I published it.

One of you wrote to me this morning about the timing of that particular post: “How does it feel to be an answered prayer? :-)”

I’m telling you this story because you live like this, too. We ask God. The results don’t look like what we expect. But we do what we can do, leaning into God. And it’s the right thing.

Have a great weekend, praying and doing the paperwork.