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. 


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  1. Ceil on September 2, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Hi Jennifer! Deep fried pronto pups? What the heck are they? But if they're deep fried, I'm sure they're amazing!
    I'm glad you feel better. Pain anywhere for any reason isn't fun. Thank God Daniel is okay too. Prayer not only reaches out to God, it helps us reach out to each other. And it truly does change things. I know your powerful prayers are heard and cherished. I am thinking of your family praying in the midst of deep fried food, and it makes me smile. Faith at the fair. I love it.


  2. a joyful noise on September 2, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Some ministers feel pain for someone else and they ask God who it is that needs healing and deliverance. In your case, the pain is probably yours, and yes, go ahead with Mom's home remedies, but if the pain continues – – go in for a check up to the Doctor. Perhaps something in your diet needs changing. – –
    Several years ago, I was in deep pain, crawling on the floor. I hate hospitals, but my words were "Take me to the hospital," where they discovered my appendix had burst. Surgery and 10 days in ICU and then recovering for another week before they sent me home. Jesus is our healer, but isn't it amazing that he had a doctor as one of his 12 close followers?
    Be wise and not foolish when it comes to our bodies (and our minds and our spirits too.):-)
    β™₯ β™₯ β™₯

  3. Bill (cycleguy) on September 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I don't even presume to know or want to know the source of your pain. πŸ™‚ I'll choose to stay ignorant. (Ever heard that before from a man?) Hope you are feeling better but really glad Daniel is better. More importantly, I'm glad not only had you been praying for others but your mom and sis found it important to pray for you in the middle of chaos.

  4. Lisa notes... on September 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I tend to get the "embarrassing" ailments too, Jennifer. ha. But although the body will do what it will in our flesh, God can redeem them in our spirits. So grateful we are able to pray and be grateful even in the midst of our aches and pains. I'm thankful you're better and that Daniel is fine too!

  5. Wise Hearted on September 2, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Prayer, oh yeah, I do that after hours of pain or discomfort, seems to be my pattern too often. That last resort prayer so I am too am thankful for friends and family and post such as this that remind me how important prayer is. Glad you and Daniel are better…

  6. Unknown on September 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    This is definitely not the Garden of Eden… but it truly is all about how we use our free will to bring about a proper perspective. Having other members of the body to remind us of Who is in control when sometimes our emotions are out of control is a gift from God. Praying for your son and you and your whole family.

  7. Dolly@Soulstops on September 5, 2015 at 2:27 am

    So glad you and Daniel are feeling better….and I appreciate how you used the time to pray and that God is sympathetic to all of our pains and doesn't rate or compare our pain when we go to Him…such comfort…praying for you and Daniel.

  8. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:03 am


    The pronto pups are delicious, sort of like a corn dog.

    I'm so glad that you could picture me and my family praying at the fair, and that you smiled at the colors and sounds of it. Thank you. Prayer to our our powerful, loving God is always worth it, huh?

    Jennifer Dougan

  9. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Hi Hazel,

    Oh yes, I'm a firm believer in the importance of doctors too. πŸ™‚ This wasn't doctor-necessary. Wow, your burst appendix sounded scary and painful. Glad you are okay now.

    Thanks for your sweet words. I was thankful to have reminders to pray for others so often, and want to keep that up now too. It's so easy to forget, huh?

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  10. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Thanks, Bill. Yes, that time to have my mom and sister pray for me too was needed.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Thanks, Lisa Notes. All better now, thankfully. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week.

    Jennifer Dougan

  12. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Thanks, Betty. Oh that reminder to pray often was the best part of that discomfort last week. The pain has passed but I miss the frequent reminders to pray.

    Jennifer Dougan

  13. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Thanks, Floyd, for the prayer. We are all doing much better. Thanks for praying.

    Jennifer Dougan

  14. Jennifer Dougan on September 7, 2015 at 3:26 am


    I agree! Isn't God's compassionate comfort to us, regardless of ailment, so wonderful of him? Thanks for warmth and prayer. We are all better now.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

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