I prayed for her. The mama on the phone named Coretta, the one who called twice.
Crying in a way unable to stop, hopeless over her situation, her tears were heavy, her voice muffled in the strain.
Job loss, homeless, four children, the shelter is full, ours and the others.
I suggested one thing, then another, said “Let me call here. Let me try this.” She’d call me tomorrow she said, “We’ll figure out one more night.”
And I was tired.
It was late; but, I wanted her to hold on.
I told her, ” I’m going to pray for you tonight, is that okay?”
Then I sat, unable to forget her sad and defeated cry and I wondered when it happened…when did I find it necessary to ask permission to pray?
And why I never thought to grab the agency card, pay for one night somewhere…a bed for her children.
Then, help her with finding a shelter tomorrow.
It’s perplexing to me, what God would have me do and the hesitant person I’ve become. Why I question my interactions so much lately.
Why I feel so unlike myself, a woman who believes, is assured?
Longing to ask, God. How would you have me speak? Why do I silence my faith in rooms filled with those who don’t believe your Word?
How is it that, I’m surprised by the contrast of my convictions with those I’d thought read and carried your same book, used it as guide?
If I could, I’d ask you, face to face, God. I’d look up towards you, Lord, as you’re looking down towards my suddenly tentative, timid and tender heart…What is it, Lord that you’d have me to say? Because my heart says speak loudly, but lovingly. Speak unapologetically, for the times are causing much fear, much alarm, much need for a God who is longing for our return to him…longing for our belief.
When did skepticism and cautionary hesitancy overshadow my longing to be known as a believer, a woman of faith?
When did my faith get so muffled, so obscure, so unwelcome, and so much contrasted that I’m shocked by my subtle denial and longing more than anything to be known as set apart.
Longing to be standing up straight and tall, content and confident, not afraid to set my face like flint?
Tonight, I’ll pray for Coretta and again tomorrow. I’ll hope to meet her, hope to give beds and a roof to her family. I’ll pray for her each time I remember her tears.There will be no question in my voice, the voice God will hear, the one He knows, no permission necessary.
I will pray. God will hear. Regardless of the others in the room.
Because I fear you Lord, I pray. Because I believe you, revere you, trust you, and thank you,
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.