I did something last Thursday I’ve never done before. I was waiting for my early-morning flight in North Carolina and as I walked to a venue to get something to eat I noticed an older woman walking slowly, obviously in pain. It made me wish I could do something to help her, and started a thought thread. I realized even if I had a pill that could take away her pain and heal it, who would take that from a complete stranger? No one with wisdom.
I went back to my seat and saw that she was sitting in a wheelchair across the walkway cattycorner from me. I had the thought that I could pray for her. Never in my life have I gone up to a perfect stranger and asked to pray for them! I’ve had the thought, but never the follow through.
But I did. I thought nobody notices old people, and I am now only one year from qualifying as old! So I got up and walked over and bent down to her. Her husband was standing a few feet away. “I can see that you are in pain, would you mind if I pray for you?” I asked her. She said she wouldn’t mind, so I asked her name and it was Alice. I told her that was my mother’s name and we smiled. I prayed that Jesus would take her pain and show her how much He loves her because it’s hard to fly in pain. Then I went back and sat down.
I didn’t feel foolish or like a hero. It was no big deal. I just felt good that I had been obedient to a nudge from God and had done something I’ve always been too scared to do before. I couldn’t see that her pain had gone, but I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about results. Maybe it wouldn’t go till the flight started. That was what I had asked for.
Afterwards I realized that she looked just like the pictures I had seen of my husband’s mother (she was dead when we met) whose name was also Alice. So of course I had to tell him about it. But I didn’t even remember to do that until the next day. He was completely surprised at my action too, and that she looked like his mother with the same name. His mother was Lebanese and had very distinctive looks.
I’m not big on new year’s resolutions but it started me thinking that maybe it was time to start thinking and doing new things. Why should I live in fear of what other people think? Why should I worry if God answers my prayers for others? That’s His problem.
As a mental health therapist I know that it helps to write down the things you want to change or just things you want to do. It uses different parts of the brain. Maybe I will write down some things.
I want to live finding good in others, to be in joy, to focus on God’s presence where is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11) And to not care what other people think of me. But I think it works better if they are handwritten.