Ruby Tuesdays: A Mighty Woman (part six)

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20).

I carried them last night.

Four names, scrawled onto a scrap sheet of paper just minutes prior to my departure. Four of your names representing four different requests … four different pains … four different hearts from four different homes. Four lovely women in need of one thing…

A great big God who loves them individually and who is well pleased to receive their names and requests before his throne.

I took them there … carried them in my hands and cradled them tenderly during the entirety of our nightly revival gathering so that I wouldn’t forget; hands are a good place to keep things when forgetfulness is our portion. Why?

Because we depend on them; we use them with almost everything that we do. Thus, when I shook hands in fellowship, when I opened up the hymnal to sing, as I cradled the Word of God, and when I bowed my knees at the altar in prayerful pause, I was deliberate in my remembrance of the four lives that I carried within the palm of my hand.

It was my privilege to do so. When lives behind the names are in need, and my hands are tied as to how much I can “do,” then opening my hands up to receive them for my prayerful consideration seems fitting … feels good and walks better.

I can go about my day, occasionally thinking of names; perhaps even scheduling some times of specific prayer therein. That too, is a fitting discipline for the life of a believer. But when needs are pressing in, when the weight of a world’s intrusion falls heavy and full upon a brother or a sister, sometimes the cause of Jesus Christ is better served by dropping our agendas and by picking up the needs of the brokenhearted … immediately.

Not tomorrow. Not when life slows down or becomes more manageable, but now. Today. The twenty-four hours that lie in our wake. Going into a day, we cannot foresee the needs that will present themselves to us, but we can be sure that they will … present themselves. Our goal in that moment of their arrival is to pay attention, to receive them as our own, and then to fill our hands with a doing that will seed eternal rather than temporal.

That seeding plants in a variety of ways.

Fixing a meal.
Working the carpool line.
Making a phone call.
Writing a note.
Running to the grocery.
Sitting bedside with a loved one.
Sitting beside to a stranger.
Wrapping a need with a hug.
Folding two hands in prayer.

Regardless of the doing, a “mighty woman”—a person of noble character worthy of ruby’s bestowing—is a person who fills his/her hands with the needs of another and who can be trusted with their worth.

Needs are worthy of more than our casual commitment and pleasant platitudes. Needs are worthy of our trust—our reliable convictions that lead us to active participation rather than passive inactivity.

Thus, I carried them last night. Four names. Four of your names to the gathering of the saints in eastern North Carolina, where not only our hearts were revived, but also where your names were presented before the King for his good and holy consideration. Your needs were carried; your needs were heard. Your needs were received by the One and only God who can best service your heart in this difficult and uncertain season.

Some of you have carried my name to Jesus in recent days. Some of you have “picked up” on a few of the signals via my writings and called me to let me know that are cradling my heart before the Father (thank you Sassy…). Some of you have sent e-mails, said some prayers, and have taken me seriously when I asked for your consideration.

You bless me by your sincerity. It is more than I deserve, and yet it is exactly as God intends.

We are the body of Christ; our hands were meant for the helping, for the receiving, and for the carrying of one another’s burdens. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the times when you have carried mine. It brings me joy and peace to do the same for you. Thus, I pray…

Show me, Father, how I can help my friends. Keep my hands and my heart open to receive the needs of others as they present themselves. Give me the wisdom and grace to willingly embrace the gift of their trust and then keep me mindful of that trust as I go and as I do. Thank you for placing my life within the palm of your hands; may I always be found faithful in leading others to your embrace. Amen.

Copyright © May 2009 – Elaine Olsen

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PS: Join us over at Refreshmoments for more Ruby Tuesdays’ posts. Let me know how I can pray for you today.

In addition, I wanted to let you know about our blogging sister, Denise, who recently lost her blog, “Teacups and Time” for some unknown reason. Can you even imagine that, friends, losing your blog? You can find her at her new address, A Sacred Longing. I know she’d love a visit from friends, new and old.

33 Responses to Ruby Tuesdays: A Mighty Woman (part six)

  1. Elaine,What a beautiful post.You are such a Blessing to me.Have a great day!Blessings, Faye

  2. Elaine, prayers sent on behalf would be appreciated. Lately I am struggling – emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc., etc. The pressures of every day seem to be getting the best of me lately. I am grouchy, stressed, tired, happy, sad, etc. all at the same time!! I feel like my joy has been stolen! Please pray!!

  3. Elaine, I always peace and encouragment for my journey here. Thanks for the timely word as so many around me are suffering, especially with physical illness right now.

    I love the picture of the hands. The verse, this picture and your first sentence captured me. Thanks.

  4. This is so true, Elaine. Putting action to our words shows just how much we care. Praying for our friends is wonderful and necessary…however, that pot of soup, personal visit, envelope with money, etc. is a powerful ministry.

    Thanks for a great reminder.

    Prayers needed? Always. I’ll email you with details.

    Praying for you? ALWAYS :o)

  5. Life will bring with it moments to pause, to see and then to do – not to do later but to do now. Love is an action.

    I think Mother Teresa once said, “All we do is but a drop in the ocean but if we do not do it the ocean will be one drop less.”

    I don’t want my missing drop to be the cause of someone’s unanswered thirst.


    PS: Thanks for the “shout out”…now if the writer’s block would leave me!

  6. Elaine, the Lord has brought you to mind often, and I pray when He does. You are a sister who lives by her words, and you have ministered to me so many times. Thank you for putting your faith into action. Love His way is so different from loving with our own strength. Love you, sister, and will be thinking of you and praying for you often during my Selah. My prayer requests are on today’s post. Much love!

  7. Elaine,
    You have blessed me today more than you know. Today I’m crying from knowing people like you care enough to stop and pray for others–Thank you!

  8. Dearest Elaine,

    While reading your post today I was struck by you cradling those names in your hands. They weren’t just names to you… they were women with real needs and you carried them with you and presented them to our Lord. I thought to myself… wasn’t Elaine illustrating exactly what God does for us. Cradles us in His Mighty Hands attentive to our needs, concerns, our lives.

    You truly are a Ruby! A gem of a lady… a precious disciple!

    Love you sister!
    ~ K

  9. Wow. Big gulp, tight throat, welling tears.

    This packed a whallop, my friend – and not just because I saw that "sassy" word stick out.

    In the humble simplicity of your bold carrying is the roar of your heart.

    I love you & so look forward to an eternity of writing together all about these amazing days.


  10. Elaine,

    There is always a trial in the current isn’t there, so many needs and amazing that God hears you with yours in North Carolina while I’m here in Kansas. God is simply amazing and I stand in awe.


  11. This touched me in a very unusual way today. I can’t really put my finger on how to express it either. Such a sweet, sweet thing for you to do and such a unique way of keeping the need for prayer constantly on your mind!

    I hope things are well with you. You are such an encouragement and a delight!

    Your Friend,

  12. Isn’t it such a privilege and an honor to pray for another? That the Lord would allow us to stand in the gap before Him for others is humbling, to say the least. God bless you.


  13. Thank you for opening not just your hands, but your heart to the needs of others. Praying for you daily elaine. elizabeth

  14. I read this beautiful post last night, but I was too tired to add a comment!! You, sweet friend, are so intuned to God’s voice. What a precious act of love you shared by carrying those slips of paper in honor and love of friends. I looked at my hands as I read this.I thought about your words that described what our hands do, and I my heart was full…as were my eyes with tears. You are a beautiful woman of God.

    Love you!!

  15. So powerful, Elaine. The imagery was so vivid, I could picture you carrying those precious names in your hands. And, the Lord led me to this Scripture for you:

    “The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.”Deuteronomy 2:7

    May He continue to richly bless the work of your hands. I know He will. 🙂

  16. “Keep my hands and my heart open to receive the needs of others as they present themselves.” I needed this reminder today… May it be my prayer as well.

  17. A profound post as usual Elaine!

    I’ve spent this entire day – in God’s Word and writing notes of encouragement to those around me. I pray over them as I write. One just lost a husband [I can relate]. One just lost a baby in her 39th week of pregnacy and will never be able to bear another child because her uterus ruptured [I cannot relate]. One is a new believer and has no idea of how to “walk by faith’ but she came to Bible study for the first time last night. Another was one I owed an apology to – because of something I did without realizing it.

    Caring takes work. Praying takes time. Many people don’t think it’s worth the time to care or to give or to pray.

    But JESUS is our perfect example – even when he was tired – or worn out – or beaten to a bloody pulp – or dying on a cross – He always spent His last breath CARING for people and embracing their lives into the kingdom. He now lives to intercede for us! Wow!

    CAN we give any less that He gave? SHOULD we give any less?

    Choosing JOY,
    [JESUS – The One I Worship]

  18. I know I have been cradled in your hands and you in mine. For the times you have breathed my name before His throne, thank you.

    “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” James 5:16

    From my hands to His heart,

  19. A Mighty Woman indeed: The ones who bends her knees at the altar.

    Blessings, dear one.

  20. Elaine… I often find myself acting… before praying… and how much more beneficial to seek the Father on behalf of those we love… to be able to discern between the good and God’s best.

    You have shared a kindred thought… and I am the better for it!

  21. Oh Elaine,
    I just poured out my heart on my blog tonight… and am shuddering at being so raw.
    I am heading to bed to try to forget what I wrote… I don’t think God will let me.

    If you get the chance, come over and read… and any prayers would be greatly appreciated!

    And thank you so much for this post. It’s a good reminder to me again tonight of the important things… prayer… coming to God with everything… the pain the joy the fear. Whether it’s silent, in groans or crying out… He hears.
    Thank you for this post and your prayers… praying for you too, my friend!
    God bless,

  22. Hello Elaine,

    Been a while as I was traveling and not online much but I’m glad to be back and to visit with you. I enjoyed your sharing today as always because GOD gives you rich nuggets to share with us. Praise His Holy Name!

    I just visited with your friend who lost her blog. I can’t even imagine that. I left her a message.

    You asked how you could pray for us today. I appreciate your sincere offer and I would ask for a prayer of praise for I believe GOD is working in drawing our adult daughter back to His arms FULLY and prayers of agreement for the appropriate use of my time to complete the writing of my book.

    I appreciate you standing in agreement with me and PLEASE, HOW MAY I PRAY FOR YOU?

    Love you.

  23. Prayer is such a wonderful and powerful thing. I don’t take it lightly, whether I am praying for someone or asking them to pray for me. I have great expectations of what God will do either way.

  24. I am blessed by your post today, Mrs. Elaine. I want to be faithful to pray for others. It is such a blessing to pray for others!


  25. Elaine thank you for being a woman of God who encourages us to truly be the woman God designed us to be!

  26. Your sincere dedication to Christ encourages me Elaine. How blessed these four women are to call you friend.

    How may I pray for you Elaine? I am so blessed that you asked how you may pray for me. Pray that I would rest in Him Elaine. I’ve really wanted to take some *things* back into my own hands that I’ve given to Him. Why am I making rest work?!? God is carrying my woes just like you are your dear friends requests. I needed this visual. Thank you for your powerful testimony. You spur me on to love and good deeds.

  27. Elaine,
    What a precious loving act to literally carry those names and then lift them with such care before our Father. I’m deeply grateful for the times you’ve lifted my name since we met. You humble me constantly with the depth of your walk and your genuine compassion for others. Praying for YOU this night…


  28. Elaine – come on over to Sharing Life with Lisa. I have a little something for you.

    I love you AND I’m praying for you.

  29. what a precious picture of caring for others through prayer; thanks for this post.

  30. Elaine, I am so blessed by your post. Your love and compassion for others is so inspiring and so rich. You are a true woman of God, full of grace, just as Christ would have us all to be.

    A true mark of a virtuous woman is one who forgets self and gives to others, and that is you, dearest friend. How uplifting and humbling it is to read your heart and soul and experience God’s love through your life and testimony. Thank you!

    May God strengthen you and bless you abundantly and meet your every need in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. I’m so glad He knows and understands all. I could not live without Him!

    With His Love,


  31. We are called to contend together, to be united by one spirit with one purpose. We are called to set our agendas aside to also look to the interests of others.

    Saying these things is one thing, actually doing them is another. Thank you Elaine for your example of what having a servant’s heart looks like. You have spurred me on.


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