A couple stands over the charred remains with the stench of smoke and the sounds of sobbing nearby. The foundation and piles of ashes are in every corner of what once was a 2500 square foot home. Twisted steel beams and a few reminders of where the garage was; where the dining room was where family meals occurred every Sunday. The husband shakes his head, wipes tears from his face and sweat off of his brow and whispers. It has been quite a summer for many in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, in the foothills of Colorado Springs. The whisper is a regular one that you hear just when people have lost everything. The man, a tall Air Force officer, retired, has seen many incidents in Haiti, in New York, and in Louisiana, during mass destruction and personal loss. “I’ve heard people whisper the same thing in every incident and tragedy, when nothing is left. I would listen in awe, no bitterness, no regrets, “all they had is prayer, and now all we have is prayer.”
All that’s left is Prayer
Another couple who for years worked for a large defense contractor and have since 2007 dodged the layoffs that have hit so many, experienced a couple of devastating blows this summer. The wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and had immediate surgery. Then, the layoff notice came. “One I expected so many times before. Yes I was thankful for hanging on as long as I did, and then also to have health insurance after my wife had major surgery, a severance, and a lot of other things to be thankful for. Prayer has kept us going, it’s all that we have left.”
“…and music is her name”
In one of the reunion recordings a couple of decades ago, Stephen Stills sang the CSN classic “Southern Cross.” The words are an analogy about a Ship that is still sailing. “It’s all that I have left and music is her name.” Priorities and idols are like storms in our culture. We run to our careers, our addictions, and even put more credence in our family name than we do in the rights that God has given us that all men (and women) are created equal. We lose sight of the most important dialog that we have access to. That is until the fires reduce our belongings to ash; and our lives are devastated with a diagnosis; our marriages divided by divorce, and our identities compromised because who were are is based on what we do, and when what we do is to look for a job, we then begin to realize that “music is not all that we have left;” what we do is no longer what we have left, our homes are not what we have left, and our health is no longer what we have left. A relationship with God is what we have left and access to Him, with praise, thanksgiving, petition, and requests, are what we have left. Then we sit back and listen to his reply-if we choose that route. All that we have left is prayer- and prayer is more than enough.
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Thursdays we examine prayer and what prayer can do. Send us your stories at Communityradionetwork@juno.com.