People who work on taxes are geniuses. So are travelers who understand foreign exchange rates. You’ve met their kind. They read business books as bathroom literature instead of Chicken Soup for the Soul books as I do. As secretary for our condominium board in Mazatlan, I, the lone woman out of seven representatives, have given up trying to engage in conversations about currencies. I stick to my expertise: typing pretty fast and asking the men to dumb down whatever they are saying so I can make the minutes relatively understandable.
Three years ago when I was first elected, I tried to keep up when the former CEO’s discussed these money matters. My bi-line became “I don’t get it.” I don’t get it in the United States, and I sure didn’t get it in Mexico where the taxes and laws and pesos fluctuate like bouncy balls at a Chucky Cheese restaurant.
One year later, I liberated myself. I didn’t have to “get it.” Six men did. They had owned banks and wineries and medical companies and were entrepreneurs in up-start endeavors. Finances are their “thing.”
Mine is communication.
Including sharing Jesus. Not in an obnoxious, judgmental way (like I did as a baby Christian—I grimace when I think of how unbearable I was), but by using humor. For example, more than once I have reminded one board partner that he is moving up my prayer ladder when he uses profanity. He now corrects himself. And we all laugh.
But as we all know, there are times when humor is not the answer. Prayer is, and God has proven over and over that it is the most powerful communication tool He has given me.
Take Frank, for instance. Canadians Frank and Gale were delightful owners at our complex. Frank was a former hockey player and sometimes a tennis partner of mine. He suffered a massive stroke and was taken to a Mazatlan hospital. When I went to visit him, he was belligerent. Gale had stepped out of his room for a few minutes, and he demanded she return. There was no comforting him. This was not the happy-go-lucky Frank I knew.
When I learned that Gale had chartered a plane to take them back to Canada, I felt God nudge me to visit him one last time. There was no response when I asked Frank if I could pray for them, and for a moment, when Frank looked at Gale in panicked silence, the thought that I had over-stepped my bounds crossed my mind. Okay, it didn’t just “cross my mind.” It smacked me upside my head and let me know I had just completely offended two people I cared about. Gale was kind enough to repeat my question, and hesitantly, Frank said yes. We held hands, and I prayed. That was a year ago.
Through their best friends Rich and Carol and my email correspondence with Gale, I learned that things were bad. Frank had been in and out of the hospital and was down to 80 pounds. Recently Carol called me to share that—out of the clear blue—Frank asked Gale if she remembered me praying for them. In Gale’s words, “In our entire marriage (40+ years), we had never prayed. Frank said he wanted to pray. So, we did. And then he asked if a priest could come to baptize him, confirm him, and give him the Last Rights.” Gale made the call.
God took a simple prayer from someone completely inadequate and made an eternal difference. Within a few weeks, Frank passed away.
Risky? Only if I want to think of it that way. In reality, I risk nothing when I offer to pray. Instead, I offer others the greatest gift I can give and then let God do all the work.
(So much easier than explaining foreign currency.)