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
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.