Tonight we were in the car talking about nothing when the kids brought up when we’re allowed to say God or Jesus. We try to teach them to have respect for those words and not just throw them around. We told them that we say it if we’re praying or praising the Lord. We also told them that it’s okay to say those words if we’re telling people about the Lord. Of course we want them to use these words regularly, just with respect.
While we talked about using God and Jesus when we pray Aiden brought up a time that he said he prayed for his cousin to feel better. I told him that was exactly right and it was like how mommy prayed for him when he got hurt a couple of weeks ago. Then he said “yeah, because I hurt so bad I couldn’t pray for myself”.
At first I just smiled but then it hit me. He just said something far beyond his years and so much more profound than he knows.
Too many times we think of pain in the physical form. I haven’t had a lot of physical pain in my life. I haven’t broken a bone since I was a small child and while labor was painful it was a means to a great end. We recognize our physical pain and the toil it takes on us but how much more does the pain we feel deep inside impact us? My mind flashed back to times in my life that I was broken, like the loss of my dad or following my miscarriage. I was a shell of a person. I wasn’t me. I could barely function, much less pray for myself. It hurt too bad. I didn’t have the strength to do something as simple as pray for myself.
But I knew there were a lot of people praying for me. When I couldn’t lift myself up I comforted myself with the knowledge that people who loved me were doing the praying when they knew I couldn’t.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been praying for a family that has experienced an unimaginable, life changing tragedy. As I hugged them and spoke to them my words felt so small. “I’ll pray for you”. How much can that really mean I asked myself. Even though I’ve been in the position of being lifted by other people’s prayers it felt like I should be able to do more. Until tonight.
When I was talking to Aiden we were discussing physical pain but his simple words changed how I will forever see my offering of prayer. I may not be able to turn back time, take away the pain, or change what’s happened but I’m praying for them because they hurt so bad they can’t pray for themselves. And now I realize that means so much more than I ever recognized before.