Have you ever watched someone who is suffering and been absolutely helpless? Doesn't have to be something horrifying. . . maybe just someone who is in a lot of emotional pain and not a word you say will be able to console.
I was struck by this helplessness twice today:
On my way to pick up the boys from school, I passed by a familiar cemetery. It's the cemetery where many of my loved ones are buried, and so I always look over as I drive by. Don't really know why, probably just to try to see the spot where their bodies lie. Anyway, as I drove by today, there was a tent up with a freshly covered grave underneath. And sitting in a chair under the tent, was a man with his head on his hand, just looking at that fresh grave. In the seconds as I passed, I could tell that he was not very old. Probably around my age. But something about the way that he was sitting there struck me to the bone. I could feel his sorrow. As I continued driving, I thought about what this day must have been like for him, and how he must feel now, sitting all alone mourning whoever was in that grave. And I felt helpless.
Then tonight. Tonight is the night when Paul has cub scouts and Ethan and I get to have some special time together at Denney's. And he started talking. You see, just this week, his Tourette's tics have flared up for the first time in about 7 months. And they are back with a vengeance. It's very hard to listen to his talking getting interrupted by these tics and then see him grimace because of the pain. Helplessness. Nothing I can do can take my son's pain away. And believe me, I have tried.
While we were at Denney's, Ethan started playing with some things he brought with him, and I began working on my Bible study of the book of James. We are in chapter 5. Want to know what verse I read? "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray." (vs. 13)
I can't go back to that man in the cemetery to pray with him, but hubby and I can teach our son to pray. To cry out to our Heavenly Father who loves us. And the crazy thing is that before I could even share this with Ethan tonight, he prayed. He asked that the Lord would help the pain not be so great. That it would not be distracting to him in class. Tears are falling down my face even as I type this. . . . I am so thankful that the Lord prompted Ethan to pray to Him. And I am humbled and corrected for not going to Him the way that my 10-year-old has done. When I see someone suffering, my first response should always be to pray, either for them or with them! Why do I always try to figure out how to "fix" the situation?!?! Really. Who do I think that I am?
Now, I don't know if it is the Lord's will for Ethan to be healed, but I pray that Ethan will continue to lean on Him who has the power to heal and has Ethan's best interests in mind. Praise God that there is a remedy for helplessness: Prayer.