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.