If you know my back story, you understand that I’m one of the last people on the planet to become a Christian. Actually, maybe I am the last person on the planet to become a Christian.
So I often wonder why: why me? Why now? How in the world did this happen?
Of course, it’s all God, with me having (finally) the good sense to assent. But I also wonder about the impact of the prayers of others.
Today, I heard on the radio a beautiful story of a woman in Columbia, who sustained massive burns from an injury. A man, a total stranger, heard about the woman’s devastating injuries. Falling on his knees, the man begged God to save his “little sister,” this woman he didn’t even know.
The woman survived her injuries, renounced her selfish and materialistic ways, and found her way to Christ. She became a Christian by saying yes to Jesus, a truly courageous decision in this very anti-Christian world.
Moved by this grace-filled story, I think gratefully of the people over the years who have prayed for me. I think in particular of a young, male friend, who did some deep praying for me some time ago when my faith became shaky.
I think of those of you out there in cyberland who have prayed for me as well. I may not know you, but I will always have a special place in my heart for you. A while back, you read about me, and you prayed for me. . . helping to pray me into God’s welcoming arms. You cared, you believed; you knew that I craved something that you had, though I didn’t know what it was. Today, and all days, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And now I pray for others out there, whom I know and do not know. Perhaps we can all be like the unknown man in Columbia, whose heartfelt prayers helped the severely injured woman survive and find her way to God. Maybe we can look around our world and ask God the same thing, “Please save my little sister,” or “Please save my little brother.” Ultimately, by doing this, we may save not just another’s life, but our own.
On a related note, today is a special day for Catholics all over the world. It is a Solemnity, the Annunciation of the Lord. It marks the day when Jesus was conceived. The Annunciation is when the angel, Gabriel, came to Mary, saying, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with You.” And she responded to this surprising news with great courage and meekness of spirit by saying yes. May all of us have the courage to say yes to God’s call.