Week Three of my Lent Challenge includes choosing one person to write a letter to each day and sending that letter through snail mail. The goal of this practice was to make space for intentional relationships and to help slow down the chaos of daily living in today’s world.
With that being said, I have a confession to make…as I type this post I have YET to write one letter. That’s right, not a one. I have a mental list of who I want my seven letters to go to, but just haven’t sat down to write. I know what you’re thinking, “Why don’t you write your letters instead of this post?” And I would say to you, “What a great idea!” But, I’m already writing and the idea behind what I wanted to say can’t stay in my head any longer.
This week threw a curveball at me with the news of a tragic car accident involving a dear friend of our’s future brother-in-law. Christian is 24, graduated from my alma-mater, and is the same age as my own brother. Details haven’t really been released because the investigation is ongoing but what we do know is Christian’s car ran off the side of the road on one of our most dangerous interstates and caught fire with him still inside. He was able to bust out a window while a couple of good samaritans helped pull him from the car, extinguish the fire on his body and clothes, and care for him until paramedics arrived. 80% of his body suffered third degree burns and he is still fighting for his life.
Christian’s journey to recovery has God written all over it. It’s been amazing to watch our almighty Father turn such a terrible situation into one that touches hearts and draws His children closer, reminding us once again to rely on Him. Countless people have rallied behind Christian’s family, pouring out their hearts and joining them in prayer. A couple of the people who helped pull Christian out of his car have expressed to the family how the event has changed their own lives and helped bring them closer to God.
The day after Jess and I heard the news we attended our weekly church service, which just so happened to be a service about God’s healing power. A woman sitting next to my mom, whom we had not met and was visiting from out of town, leaned over asking us to pray for a young man who was in a terrible accident. Guess who it was? Christian. Man, God is so cool. Our pastor offered to anoint the congregation with oil he brought from Jerusalem following communion and our little group did so in Christian’s honor. That night we visited his family, joined our friends for dinner and prayed over Christian. He has a long road ahead, but he has already overcome more than originally expected, and his family is fighting right alongside him.
Two lessons have resonated with me through the events of this week. The first is God’s ability to make the world a smaller place, reminding us we are all His children. Hundreds of people who know Christian have been rallying behind him, posting messages to his Facebook page. His home church hosted a prayer service to give their members the opportunity to gather together in his honor. People who have never met Christian are speaking to his family and sharing stories about how this incident has changed their own life. All of these people are now part of Christian’s family. In the Bible it reads, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20). I would say Christian is well taken care of in this regard.
The second lesson is the power of prayer in healing. Our pastor defines healing as a process of being made whole, emphasizing the words “process” and “whole”. The healing process can take days, months, years or decades, and we may struggle to grasp the timing of it all. Wholeness extends beyond physical healing, but encompasses emotional and spiritual healing also. When we pray for this kind of healing we pray with faith, expecting God to move, and trust in Him despite the outcome. Our prayers may not always be answered in the way we expect, but this doesn’t mean God is not at work. Through prayer, healing is not just taking place in Christian, but also his family and friends as they become a witness to the hundreds of people praying and seeking God’s healing for each of them. Prayer also allows others to partner with Christ; through this accident Christ is enlisting us into HIS healing, creating wholeness in more lives than we can fathom with our limited perspective.
People all around us are seeking healing or wholeness daily. It’s easy to go into autopilot and overlook the hurt, anguish, confusion, and desperation even in our closest friends. This week I am reminded that I am a part of God’s healing power; my prayers and petitions are needed and desired. Life should never keep me too busy to seek opportunities to extend God’s grace, mercy and love, which brings me back to my letter writing. I promise I won’t forget to write my letters, and I am thankful for a newfound perspective in connecting with people.
If you want to stay up to date with Christians Journey click here and join us in prayer. I look forward to catching you up next week as I tackle a week without makeup and the lessons I will learn at my church’s Middle School Discovery Weekend. Yes, I will be without makeup in front of hundreds of youths, but I’m prepared for those eyes of judgement and questions about my energy and sleep. I think…