I shifted in my chair and wiped my sweaty palms on my pants. Staring blankly at the floor, I started picking at my cuticles as the office clerk entered my medical information into the hospital computer system.
Time stood still as I nervously glanced around her desk perusing her family pictures. There were several snapshots of a cute little girl — a granddaughter perhaps.
My mind was in a haze. Only a year before, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. As I made preparations to have a lumpectomy, everything seemed surreal.
“This is it.” I said to myself. “I’m sure doctors are going to find cancer.”
The dreaded “C” word. In the past week since doctors discovered questionable cells in a biopsy, my husband and I have not been able to verbalize the word. But I saw it in his eyes. After all, he was all too familiar with this dark, ravaging disease, which took his mother in the prime of her life.
“Would you mind if I prayed for you?” asked the kind lady behind the desk. Her name was Peggy and her words jolted me out of my numbing thoughts.
“That . . . would be wonderful!” I whispered, swallowing hard.
With that, Peggy reached her hand across her desk. I hesitated briefly but then, I placed my hand in hers. As this sweet, heaven-sent angel prayed the most precious prayer of comfort over me, I felt caressed by the God of Comfort.
In today’s reading, we are told about believers who, because of Paul, “have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly”. In spite of being imprisoned, Paul never stopped sharing the hope he had in Christ.
Have you ever encountered someone whose boldness and confidence in Christ has inspired and challenged you to fearlessly share your faith?
As Peggy walked me to the elevator, I marveled at the courage of this lady to boldly pray with a stranger. She did this at much risk in today’s politically-correct work environment as the facility was not a Christian hospital.
Before I met Peggy, I would tell people I’d pray for them. Their illness. Their loved one. Their need. I had the best of intentions. But in the quietness of my prayers, I would often forget. Or my own selfish needs would be placed ahead of others.
What I truly treasured about Peggy was her willingness, in that moment, to step into my struggles and join our hearts in prayer.
Prayer can unite hearts with oneness of purpose, even among strangers.
My encounter with Peggy etched an indelible mark in the caverns of my soul. Like Paul, her boldness and bravery is founded on the unfailing faithfulness of God to fulfill His promises.
Sometimes, brave looks like a simple, humble woman with a ferocious heart for God.
Today: Read Acts 16:25-40 and Philippians 1:12-14