The Call on Line Two
It started last Monday night, but I didn’t have the courage to say
anything until Tuesday. Well, Wednesday, honestly, if you count
non-husband people. Because I whispered it to him Tuesday morning, the
shy awkward news about an embarrassing uncomfortable pain.
|Photo: Flavia, Flickr user|
you don’t want to know. Just nod and murmur comforting noises and we’ll
leave it at that. Tuesday I grabbed my cell phone and money and headed
to the store for medicine. Then I grimaced, moaned, and tried
not to aggravate it.
By Wednesday, the pain was worse
and I wrestled courage with both hands and stumbled over the words with
my children and on the phone to my mom.
“Oh, by the
time you’re my age, you won’t be embarrassed about anything,”
she laughed and clucked sympathetically. She discussed home remedies,
and I listened and nodded.
“I’ve decided to pray,” I
blurted out. “There are so many people with chronic pain or who are
suffering more seriously than this.” I could
picture friends whose relatives were in hospice and ones who lived with
daily pain. “I’ve been using the pangs as reminders to pray,” I
stopped, then added with a sad laugh. “I’ve prayed a lot today.”
I did. In between flinches and hobbled walking sessions, I gritted
teeth and thanked God that this pain was rare for me, bringing names
to my lips of friends, families, and people I knew in pain. Although my ailment was trivial in comparison, I
rested in the truth that our Abba Dad God looked with sympathy and love
on each of us.
|Photo: Deb Nystrom, Flickr user|
|Photo: Matt 0983, Flickr user|
Friday, my mom, sister, and I walked through the Minnesota State Fair,
sniffing buttery corn on the cob, crispy chocolate chip cookies, braised
turkey legs, and deep fried pronto pups. I wriggled toes in twinges
of discomfort and thanked God for the people I saw and whose names
rolled through my mind. “Thanks for these reminders to pray. Thank you
that it’s getting better too,” I grinned at God.
cell phone vibrated and rang, and Mark’s first words flattened my chest.
Terse quick sentences, then I raised eyes to my worried sister and
“Daniel may have just had a seizure. I have to
go.” State Fair traffic flooded and ebbed around us, and my heart
hammered, flushing cheeks red.
“Can we pray for you?”
my sister asked, wondering if I had a minute. Leaning three heads in
close, my mom and sister wrapped arms around me and I fought to follow
their words. They talked to the God of the world and I remembered to
And this chance we have to say another’s name
aloud to the One who knows us intimately and has never stopped thinking
of us is priceless, and it circles happily, unfazed. It’s me who forgets
in the moment to moment… about God, about friends and families in
need, and I need reminders to pray, reminders to think of others, and
it’s a privilege to stride into God’s throne room with a friend’s name
on our lips. “God?” and he nods, smiling, never at a loss.
is feeling fine now. (My silly ailments are improved too.) And I type,
breathe, grate zucchini, put away clean dishes, and brainstorm supper,
whispering names of friends and family who are in pain, thankful that
our God has never forgotten.