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I find that lately, I am stopping off in the hospital chapel to pray before I head home these days. I pray for patients I have seen. I pray for their families. I pray for the staff at the hospital. I pray for continued strength for myself. I pray because so many people have asked that I pray for them. It’s not just that I’m keeping a promise. It’s that I need to turn that burden over to God before I leave.
Please don’t think that I mind carrying this burden during the day. It is the work I am called to, and it is holy, but I couldn’t do it without God’s strong arm holding me up. I feel both blessed and humbled to have been called to this. I have been privileged to hear people’s most intimate secrets and fears; entrusted to carry them in careful reverence. Still, it’s nice to hand this sacred baton off to God before I leave. The thing about this marathon is that it’s a team event.
So this got me thinking about Jesus. He had a lot of demands on his time. The man couldn’t even get a break in his own home without people cutting holes in his roof to send in folks for Jesus to heal. Yet even Jesus had his earthly support system. After all, there was the woman who anointed him, and he wasn’t above taking a nap in the back of a boat. I am certainly not claiming to be Jesus, but if Jesus can demonstrate the value of self-care, I suppose I ought to pay attention.
It’s not that I wasn’t praying before, but I wasn’t praying like this. And what I’m finding is that I feel lighter when I walk out. I am not carrying all the concerns of the day with me, yet I believe that they are held with God.
If you’ve asked me to pray for you, I did. Your prayers are with God. Even if you haven’t asked, I prayed. And the more I do, the more I find that I am living in prayer -- but that’s another blog entirely.