Once upon a time, I watched a mama crumble to her knees when her little one was taken too soon.
In the aftermath, my prayers were intense.
I don’t remember if words came easily. It was a long time ago.
But I do remember a picture that formed in my mind.
This mama in the middle of a circle of the faithful.
Ones who could stand, could believe, when she could not.
A circle so tight, so close that she stayed on her feet though she lacked the strength to stand.
Because of the faithful.
I don’t usually get pictures when I pray.
But this one has stuck with me for many, many years.
It comes back, sometimes.
When I’m praying for dear ones who know loss.
A reminder that the great cloud of witnesses is not just at some other time in some other place.
A reminder that even ones with great faith sometimes need their arms held up.
You guys, it was a rough day.
It was all I could do to get myself and two littles to church.
It almost didn’t happen. Like really, really almost.
There were tears and profanity and the throwing of objects all before eleven o clock.
Bread and cup in hand, I am so hungry.
Desperate for them, for the rescue, again, of One who knows it all and loves me anyway.
I want to stand.
But right now I cannot.
I don’t even know who she is.
But from behind me, her voice is strong.
Not perfect, but strong.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand.
‘Til he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.
Though it was a fight to get here this morning,
I know I am in the right place.
Surrounded by the faithful.
Ones who can believe when I cannot.
Ones who can stand and boldly proclaim the truth
When all I can do is sit.