Will You Join Me?
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
There are some faces that will never leave you. Two such, for me, I saw here today.
We arrived very early this morning at McKinney Medical Center. We drove down last night to be with my wife’s parents. My father-in-law, Jack Mills, had to have surgery this morning. After we all prayed, I stayed out in the main waiting room with our kids. Jack went to surgery while my wife, Amanda, her sister, and mother went back to the main surgical waiting room.
The kids had their heads in an electronic device. I had mine in a paperback book. I was about to start chapter two, when a young Hispanic woman with a baby on her hip walked through the sliding glass entry doors. She checked in with the receptionist and sat down across from me.
I didn’t mean to stare, but the woman looked tired. She was a young mother, but she appeared older – almost middle aged. Lines were etched into her face. Eyes that once may have sparkled were dull and sad. She had the kind of eyes that had shed too many tears – as if she had cried so much and had no tears left.
Her baby was gorgeous. She looked to be about ten to twelve-months-old. The baby locked eyes with mine. I made a silly face and she smiled. Her mother noticed my interaction with her child. “Hola,” she said. “Su nombre es Mariana.” I continued to play peek-a-boo with Mariana and said, “Yo not hablo very much bueno Español.” The woman’s face that seemed to have a perpetual frown, smiled at my bad attempt at Spanish. She said, “Her name is Mariana.”
“A beautiful little girl with a beautiful name,” I remarked. “What’s she doing here?”
“She is having her tonsils taken out,” the young mother replied.
“She is awful little to be having that done.”
“Yes, señor. You are right. She has cancer…lymphoma. It has spread to her tonsils.”
I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say, but the nurse came and called them back before I could utter, “I’m sorry.” She picked up Mariana, her diaper bag, and purse and started to walk away. I called to her, “Ma’am.” She turned around and I said, “I will be praying for you and your precious Mariana.” Where there was sadness, a faint smile appeared. She nodded as if to say, “Thank you.” Then she turned and disappeared carrying little Mariana into the bowels of the hospital.
My father-in-law’s surgery went well, and we left the hospital. Our lives go on…and, yet…I can’t stop thinking about a young mother, whose name I don’t know, and her daughter, Mariana. I keep asking God, “Why?” Why would a sweet, innocent baby get cancer? It doesn’t make any sense. I suppose I know why, theologically speaking. We live in a sin-sick, cursed world. However, knowing we live in a fallen world doesn’t ease the ache in my stomach and the anguish in my heart.
Asking God why, is getting me nowhere. So, I have decided to ask God, “Where are You in this?” After all, God is everywhere. So, He must be in this situation. Maybe God put me in a hospital waiting room in McKinney, Texas for me to pray for Mariana and her mother. Maybe God arranged our meeting to give inspiration for the writing of this column. Maybe God wanted me to send a message out to His faithful prayer warriors. Maybe God wants you to pray. Maybe God wants to be glorified through the healing of a sick little girl. Maybe…Just maybe…
The point is: God wants us to pray. Prayer is an act of obedience. God says to pray, and we must act. Does God need us to help Him out? No, but we pray because God has established prayer as part of His plan to accomplish His will in this world. So, I’m going to pray for a miracle healing for Mariana and peace that passes all understanding for her momma.
Will you join me?
Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at (620) 223-2986, or through the website www.fortscottfsbc.com.