I just got back from visitation time at the funeral home for a dear church friend. He was 96 years old and one of those men who was always ready to share a funny story about something he’d done in the past. He was a good storyteller. He used to tell me I was his favorite piano player. He obviously didn’t have a good ear for music, but love made him not notice all those sour notes I hit.
He and his wife were married 76 years. He was twenty when they married and she was almost 17. They made it through the Depression years together. They made it through wars together. They always had enough to take care of their children. They always believed. They read their Bible through many times and wrote down questions to ask the pastor when he came to call. She still cooked for him. She still smiled at his stories and the way he’d sometimes gently make jokes about their long life together. Now he’s gone on ahead of her. And she’s sad. But she’s trusting in the Lord to see her through.
Loretta is one of those wonderful prayer warriors we need more of in our churches. She prays for people. She doesn’t just say she will. She doesn’t just aim to pray and then forget. She prays. And I always imagine the Lord leaning down to hear her just a little bit better and saying if Loretta wants it to happen, then it needs to happen. She prays for me. And I am honored and blessed. Tomorrow I will pray for her as will the dozens, perhaps hundreds of people who have been influenced by Earl and Loretta and two lives well lived. They have numerous direct descendants. Loretta’s told me how many grandbabies and great grandbabies and great great grandbabies, but her memory is better than mine and I’ve forgotten the number. But the best blessing, way more important than the number, is how well they both are loved by all those family members. And church family members.
So with all these people Loretta and Earl have prayed for over the years lifting her up in prayer, then she will be able to bear this sadness. For sure, he’s up there in heaven sitting under a tree telling about that time he got the tractor stuck in the creek and for sure the people around him are smiling.
Prayers can make a difference. I’m also praying for a barely one-year-old twin boy who’s having a bone marrow transplant (I think that’s the treatment) for a rare disorder. Evan is his name. I’ve not met him, but I’ve met his mother. She believes in prayer. Evan starts the chemo tomorrow. If you believe prayer makes a difference, lift his name up in the coming weeks.
Here’s a couple of quotes to keep us thinking and praying.
* The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.
* THE POWER OF PRAYER — Peter Kreeft
“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those prayers down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.”
As always, thanks for reading.