Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Last night I experienced community at its finest.

A boy in our neighborhood needs prayer. Desperately.

So, as the day wore on yesterday and people found out about his condition, someone organized a prayer vigil. Word quickly spread that whoever wanted to pray should meet on the playground at our local elementary school at 8:30.

I’ll be honest. I vacillated. I know the family a little because our kids all went to the same elementary school, the little one with the big heart, and I had had several conversations with this boy’s mom, but it’s not like they are close friends or anything. They’re neighbors. I wondered if I’d be intruding on a private moment for close friends if I showed up.

And I wondered if it would be uncomfortable to stand around praying with a handful of people I don’t really know.

But 8:25 came, and I decided I would just go, despite my hesitations and fears.

The school is only two blocks from my house, so I walked over there alone in the twilight, noticing other neighbors beginning to head that direction too. As I turned the corner, just past a row of hedges, I literally drew in a breath as I took in the sight at the playground.

“Oh, Lord. Thank you!” I whispered as I saw a large group starting to gather, friends and neighbors walking from every direction.

As I approached the group, I saw our school’s principal standing in the circle, along with several teachers, parents, boys from this boy’s baseball team, and children from the neighborhood.

In all, I counted over 100 people who had come quickly, spontaneously, as soon as they heard, to pray for a desperate boy in a desperate situation.

There are so many reasons, some of which I’ve written about here, why I love living here, but last night tops my list. Living in a community full of caring people, people who will drop anything to pray for a boy they hardly know, makes my life richer.

I have thought about that prayer vigil constantly since last night, and I feel confident that if one of my children were in a desperate situation the same thing would happen. This beautiful community would rally around us, loving us, praying for us, holding us close.

And I am so thankful for that today.

If you would, please take a moment to pray for our neighbor, Matthew. Out of respect for his family, I won’t go into details, but God knows his need. Thank you.

I'm linking up with Emily's "Tuesday's Unwrapped" today.



  1. thanks for sharing this, shelly. we so wanted to be there last night but obviously were still in the hospital...matthew is a sweet big buddy to henry and we are heartbroken for their family. what a comfort to know how many are lifting him up in prayer!

  2. Kate, you're reading me from the HOSPITAL?!?! I think you win some kind of faithful follower award for that! Congrats on that sweet little baby!

  3. I love this post, Shelly. It reminds me that so often when we get out of our comfort zone to be a blessing to someone else, we end up getting blessed too. Aren't you glad you didn't miss this opportunity?

    My heart and prayers go out to this family.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday ~ it was a sweet surprise.

  4. Well said Shelly! The family of God is awesome!!!

  5. I am stopping by from Tuesdays Unwrapped. Thank you for your post. What a wonderful community you live in. Praying for Matthew!

  6. How did you hold it together when you saw that crowd? I don't even live there, I don't even know this family - and here I am, crying! What a wonderful community. And yes, I'll pray for Matthew.

  7. You live in a wonderful community. Thanks for the beautiful story of faith and friendship.