For When You Wonder: Remember This

by | Jan 18, 2012 | Uncategorized

She approaches from the line that stretches long through the middle of the ballroom.  The frail women among the souls strung waiting for prayer. She wears tired like a bathrobe, eyes half-mast, gait slow and steady.  Huddling in close, she shares the prayer request.  It isn’t what I expect.

With palms open, fingers lined boney, she looks at her hands, asks if we could pray that God would somehow anoint them. Breathe healing into the sinews and hold it there until she can touch her three friends back home with cerebral palsy. Because she wants to be a conduit of comfort, healing, restoration to the ones she loves.

And when I think this is perhaps a smoke screen – because asking for someone else is sometimes easier than exposing your own needs – I ask her if she wants us to pray for anything personally. She whispers quiet, “No, just this one thing for my friends. I want them to feel better.”

I wrap one arm around her boney shoulder the size of a child and like the widow giving her last mite she opens her hands expectant. And as we pray I touch her hand and those fingers curl tight with faith.

We ask Jesus for this one thing.

To impart healing to those hands because it’s all she has to give.

Open hands to touch lives with His grace.

When I wonder about my place in this world, if what I do makes a difference to anyone, I think about the woman with the outstretched hands. Hands that hold tight to Jesus, not for what she wants for herself, but what she can give away to the ones she loves.

And as the sea of turmoil rages wild, people turn chameleon to save themselves, sickness hangs its chains on the beloved, lies whisper loud to mask the truth, vows break like a changing lunch menu, my head turns swift toward perspective.

My eyes, my heart, my ears, my thoughts roam free from the distractions that swirl tornadic to these words of Jesus that bring me safely home like a boat resting on still water:

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Matthew 22:37-40

Everything else flows tributary from these two commands to find our place in the world. That place carved out that looks just like you.

He sent that aged, frail woman with the open palms to remind me. And I am thankful.

 Linking today with Ann, Jennifer and Emily.



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  1. joepote01

    How beautiful!

    “Hands that hold tight to Jesus, not for what she wants for herself, but what she can give away to the ones she loves,” such a clear and beautiful picture of two greatest commandments!

    Thank you, for sharing!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Joe! I thought so too. Thanks for visiting, hope you’ll come back.

  2. Amy @ Little ADventures

    This is absolutely breathtaking! 🙂 Beautiful Post! Thank you for sharing! I too am thankful for god leading all these words and lessons to me through these wonderful blogs I am stumbling upon! Thanks Again! Just Beautiful!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Amy, so glad you left a comment today!

  3. Messy Marriage

    It sounds as if God is using you in mighty ways with the people who matter most to His heart! Thanks for sharing this beautiful moment with all of us!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well, I am just thankful to be useful when needed. It was a moment that made me step back and think about being unselfish when it comes to prayer.

  4. Debra

    I wonder all the time… but today I enjoy the flow of this writing.

  5. Cara @ Whimsy Smitten

    Beautiful words, beautiful heart. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Deidra

    I’ve been wondering some of those same things, lately.

    (Who’s the woman in the red dress?)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Maybe it’s being in ministry, that we wonder about the same things. I don’t know who that was. We were on the 18th floor of a hotel and she was walking across the parking lot like a movie scene, getting into a limo. I think it was a Hispanic wedding. I took several photos from that hotel room!

      • Jennifer@GDWJ

        Oh. I loved that perspective! Nice capture.

  7. imperfect prose

    i love how you use words. how you weave poetry and gospel together. thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Emily, that is a treasured compliment coming from the master weaver herself. You have the gift of words that transport. Thank you so much.

  8. Jennifer@GDWJ

    Lovely. This reminds me of the verses that talk about being blessed … to be a blessing.

    An emptying and filling, emptying and filling.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, empty to fill Jennifer. I see that. I guess it is what I saw that day and somehow her being empty and wanting to empty more just humbled me.

  9. kd sullivan

    This reminds me of Job when he prayed for his friends.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, and what an act of faith that was. It still resonates all these years later.

  10. Debbie

    What a beautiful story of love! In this world, there’s so many who focus on me, me, me. She was a servant who wanted to be used to touch her friends, giving Christ the glory.

    May I have a heart for others like this woman.

    Blessings and love,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Amen Debbie. That is my prayer too. Thanks for being here sweet friend.

  11. brian miller

    smiles…it does all flow from that…and yes you do make a difference in the world…and sometimes we never see it but love its contageous…and it moves…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Brian, before I left this morning I had your blog open so I would be sure to catch up on your writing when I got back and there you are in the comment box. Thanks for your kindness, encouragement. You are a faithful friend. And how is the book coming?

  12. Vicki in Texas

    Again, you have touched the core of my soul. I read and re-read and your writing is so beautiful, so from the heart, so full of the love of Christ Jesus. Keep modeling to all of us your love for life and beauty in all the ways you capture His creation. You are a disciple through your writing. Amen for all that!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Vicki, can’t tell you how much your support means to me. And I loved meeting your sweet husband in Houston. All you have to do it look at me and I know you truly care. Thank you so much. The tea was a blessing. It really works!

  13. Dolly

    Christ’s love flowing from that woman for her friends then how it touched you and then you blessed us with your words… Thank you! Your words make a difference : )

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Dolly, I appreciate that! It wasn’t until I was praying about what to write that she came back to my memory. The moment was humbling but I wasn’t thinking about writing about it until He brought it back up. So glad to know it blessed people!

  14. Adrienne Smith (@AdrienneSmith40)

    Absolutely beautiful story of love Shelly! I also believe that God works through others to share his love. In a world that is so me, me, me focused I’m so thankful that there are still people who care so much for others. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us. What a wonderful way to end this week.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Adrienne, so touched that you stopped by and thanks for all your help! Yes, it is comforting to know that there are people that still care for others needs before their own. She makes me want to live that way too. Hope you have a terrific weekend.

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