Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Day of Prayer

Monday, May 2, 2008 6:45 a.m.

I guess someone had mentioned earlier that yesterday was the “National Day of Prayer,” but it went in one ear and out the other. I noticed it just now in checking the journal entries from yesterday. What an understatement.

As Syd has written in the Caringbridge journal, the day started off with Virgil. Virgil is our brother. He was the security guard on duty the night this journey began. He is a beautiful African American angel, evidently sent on a divine mission to us. He is also a preacher. He had already bonded with Jay (and the 100 friends in the lobby) by the time I arrived around midnight, so I don’t know how the friendship began. But he has been a faithful one ever since, frequently stopping by to ask about Katherine’s progress. Yesterday morning he came by the Outpost to check on us and to give us some good words to chew on. Then he made his request: Could he go up to see Katherine? Now supposedly it is “Family Only” in ICU. Obviously we’ve been stretching that to include the family-related-through-our-brother-Christ, the ‘firstborn of many brethren,’ but we have at least tried to stick to people Katherine knows and loves well. Jay and I looked at each other for a second. I heard myself saying, “He can go up with me.” Just then Virgil received a call on his walkie-talkie, and said he’d be right back after checking on whatever disturbance was occurring. (This is a hospital you might have heard mentioned in People magazine or the you never know what might be happening.) I went on up to prepare Katherine for the visit of a perfect stranger. She shrugged her shoulders (which means “whatever”) just as Virgil arrived at the door.

We got right down to business. Virgil took her right hand while I took the left. He started off at a moderate pace and volume, but then he really got going. Now, I will say there is almost no praying like our African American brothers’ praying. I just love it. It makes me feel safe and strong, like my grandmother’s lap. I found myself “Amening” and “Yes-ing” as he blessed her from the top of her head to the soles of her feet and back again. It was beautiful, powerful, lengthy prayer. Towards the end I became aware that Kat’s close friends J.T. and Syd had joined us. As Virgil finished praying, J.T. announced to Katherine that they were there, and her eyes flew open. From that time on, intermittently throughout the rest of the day, she vigorously tried to communicate.

A short while after Virgil left, a distinguished-looking Nigerian gentleman, aptly named Isaiah, appeared at the door to pray. A sweet lady deacon named Elizabeth Chow stopped by for short one (and a head massage for me!) Later that evening, Katherine’s discipleship group came up to sing and pray. For dessert, some elders of the church showed up around 9:00 p.m. to follow the injunction in James 5:14.

Katherine was soaked and saturated in palpable prayer all day long. Swimming in it.

There are many things I don’t understand about prayer.

But this is one thing I do know:

My daughter was "signing" that she loved me from morning until night.

(That was one I hadn’t even asked for.)


Exceedingly abundantly...


Anonymous said...

Dear Kim--

Praise God!! Thank you so much for being the beautiful prism through which God's light can shine for those of us too far away from California to be of physical support. Your words of faith are extraordinary; I feel closer to God through my prayers for Katherine and Clan!

And Hurray for the head Massage!!! :)

In Christ's Love,

Bryan said...

Dear Kim (and the entire family),
I am so sorry that I didn't find out about this blog until today. I will certainly be able to keep up now. I sent the news of Katherine to all my friends to be praying for her. I have been praying as well.
Sorry I never got over to Athens to paint for you but I do plan to come when it will be possible for you.
May God our Father continue to give you strength and may you rest in His tender arms each and every day.