I’m a good lutheran. By that, I mean, I am sometimes shy about public proclamations and asking for God’s blessings on myself.
I am pushed by my brothers and sisters who are from more evangelical traditions. The ability to ask for prayer is an ability I admire.
Some weeks we have 5 people in our formal worship time. Some weeks we have 20 people. Every week we have several people who ask for prayer and blessings as they come and go.
Last week was no different.
But, last week something was a little different.
We had served our last hand pie and we were just about to pull away from the curb. I was the last person on the sidewalk. A woman pulled up in a car. She waited until I was alone. She got out of her car, approached me and said, “I could use a prayer.”
“Okay, what shall I prayer for?”
“I just need prayer.”
And then, I saw the tears.
I place my arm around her shoulders.
We began to pray.
We praised God that she had seen us and asked for support.
We asked God why she needed to hurt so badly.
We asked God to carry her grief and pain as she walks through this world.
We asked that God give her hope to bring her forward.
We asked that God allow us to be in relationship.
As we prayed, she wept.
And then, she got in her car and drove away.
I am humbled by a woman who sees the ministry, sees the marks of the office that I wear, and trusts that she will hear the word of God in a moment of clear pain.
I don’t know what was causing her heart to grieve. I don’t know if I will see her again.
I do know that she trusted that God called us to be in relationship for that short period of time.
I am continually astounded by the spirit. We are clearly where we need to be. People are hungry to be seen and known and cared for. What an honor it is to fill that hunger.
Dearly beloved, this is holy work and you help us do the work of God. We give thanks to you for your generosity as we pray on the street.
And as always, keep hope alive, God is with you.