Being the Answer
Growing up in the suburbs—safe from the outstretched hands of the homeless—we learned that there are three different kinds of homeless: the genuinely suffering kind (the kind who deserve your eye contact and a hot sandwich), the phonies (with their Benz parked in the back alley), and, of course, the drug addicts and alcoholics, only looking to use your hard-earned money to feed their addictions. Somehow, you were supposed to know which kind of homeless person you were looking at and offer or refuse change accordingly. If you denied change to someone who genuinely needed it, you were cold. If you offered it to someone who turned out to be playing you, you were naïve. Not wanting to be either, I momentarily panicked. Then it hit me. The perfect answer. The best kind of giving.
I took the woman's hand in both of mine like some teenage Mother Theresa, and in a tone of false benevolence that haunts me to this day, I promised to pray for her.
When I think of misused prayer, I think of this moment. I think of the way my gut dragged all the way to Starbucks under the weight of some unnamable shame. I think of the way my own sticky-sweet voice cycled through my thoughts as I perused the menu of gourmet coffees.
I'll pray for you. I'll pray for you. I'll pray for you.
There was nothing wrong with offering prayer to a suffering woman. What was wrong was using prayer to weasel out of a difficult decision. I held up my reliance on God like a white flag, declaring that I was out of the fight and ready to pass the responsibility on to Someone else.
What I learned then, and what I am relearning every day in small ways, is that prayer is not passive. It is not about my personal weakness; it is about the strength I find when I meet with God. It is about the light He created within me and the light he brings out of me. It is about recognizing that God knows how to delegate; He has cleverly designed me to be capable of being the answer to the prayers I bring him.
I'm usually much more comfortable passing the buck on to my Higher Power. But what a blessing it is, and what an honor, to be His answer to another's prayer!
I ask that you make me Yours—
Not only your child,
Your wayward lamb—
But also Your instrument,
Your agent of change.
Teach me to surrender not to the darkness,
But to the light of possibility
As Your strength sustains me
And Your wisdom guides me.
For once, I will not shrink into the fear of insufficiency;
I will stand and face the darkness,
Assured of your support,
Praising You for this blessed duty.
posted by Susan DiamondThe word DOG is GOD spelled backward. My dog Orchid is God-like. She is loving, wise and protective. Orchid is like a flower—feminine and beautiful! She is a 40-pound soft-coated longhaired Wheaton Terrier. Most owners of Wheatons cut their dog’s coat. We decided to keep Orchid au natural as she ...
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Fear is not my partner in life. I ask the angels to come closer and guide me beyond fear to a deeper knowing. Courage warms my soul and lights the darkness. Nothing can stop the light.