Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Power of Prayer

Life is slowly getting back to normal in the Sherrod Pool household. Gayland has been home from the hospital for three weeks, and reports he’s feeling stronger every day. His physicians have said he can drive now, which makes him very happy.

I’m slowly getting my fear under control, although every time he sneezes or coughs, I ask, “Are you OK?” I suspect I’m driving him nuts, although he says not. He’s a kind person.

I wonder daily how my mother did it. She cared for my father through nearly 20 years of heart trouble, cancer, surgeries. He was in and out of the hospital all the time.

My dad was a very frail but incredibly tough old coot. We all went home every Christmas for decades because “It could be Alan’s last Christmas.” But he pulled though one crisis after another and went back home to drink the alcohol he was forbidden, eat the foods he wasn’t supposed to eat, tell the bad jokes he loved, and generally enjoy the heck out of life. He was almost 90 when he died.

Through crisis after crisis, Mother never seemed to let her fears take over. She was always calm – at least to us – and seemed to take every development in stride. Being a registered nurse is a large part of that, I know. The other huge piece of it is her deep faith in God.

My mother has a very personal relationship with God, shaped by her Roman Catholic faith. She and God talk a lot, as do she and the Blessed Mother. My parents said the rosary every night of their 63-year marriage. She still says the rosary every night, and says that my dad joins her in it nightly.

I am sure he does.

Faith got me through the last month and half. When one is waiting at 4 a.m. for word of the result of emergency surgery on one’s beloved, the only presence that can offer any comfort at all is that of God.

Prayers got me through the last month and a half. The power of the prayers of all those folk who prayed for us were palpable. What else could account for the calm that would suddenly surround me when I was close to losing it? Or the peace that would enfold me like a warm hug in some of the darkest times? What else would account for the sudden release of anxiety that let me fall into sleep after too many wakeful hours?

Now, as I pray for others I do so with renewed humility and with renewed confidence in the efficacy of this relatively easy, immensely powerful act.

And I believe I would say the same if our outcome had been different. If things had gone badly, I would have needed the prayers more than ever, and I have faith that they would have helped see me through the worse. They certainly did so for my mother when my father died.


Because God is good, all the time.


Caminante said...

And so the prayers continue for both of you. So glad for Gayland's healing.

Yesterday I told our dear 90 year-old belle who broke her pelvis in two places plus her arm in a fall two weeks ago, to remember in the dark of night, that verse from Psalm 23:

I will fear no evil;
for thou art with me.

I find Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying wonderful because so many of them talk about our fear and letting go of it.

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

I'm reminded by your post that in the times that we deal with basic issues of life and death and are surrounded by the presence of God, all of the issues surrounding the current Anglican Train Wreck seem appropriately very far away and unimportant indeed. Blessings to you and Gaylord. May Christ's peace continue to be with you.

Barbi Click said...

Not that we could have done much had we been there, but to be away while all of this was happening was discomforting to say the least. But by being away, perhaps we prayed more than we might have, had we been right there. Sometimes it is good to not be able to do anything but pray. Perhaps we will learn one day that prayer is often the only thing we should do. :-)
Much love to you all in FW from all of here in St. Louis.

I know you are already but Pray for Angi and Leslie and their families...