I was on the hospital gurney, buck naked except for one of those flimsy hospital gowns. As a nurse was preparing me for my procedures, an elderly woman, bent from age, peaked in the doorway. “I’m The Prayer Lady”, she announced. “I’m here to pray for you.”
I’m all in favor of prayer, but must confess to being a little startled and a lot surprised. Here I was, surrounded by some of the best medical personnel and equipment that science and technology can provide, and an elderly retired lady is allowed to roam the halls and interrupt whatever the science and equipment are doing in order to pray.
I said, “Let’s do it,” and, taking my hand, she prayed a gentle, short prayer that reflected all my anxieties. Moved by her words, I could feel tears in my eyes, not just out of gratitude, but more because I needed a reminder. In this jaded world I forget there are still caring people who dedicate their lives to living out the mandates they see in Scripture, and are willing to sacrifice in order to do so. These are the real heroes of whom we rarely hear, and they are among us in greater numbers than we might think. Their presence leavens the world with the light of God. Where would we be without them?
As she left the room joking and chirping I thought of Matthew 25. “Come you blessed of my Father and inherit the Kingdom. I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. … I was sick and you visited me.”
Maybe I have a glimpse now of how Jesus must have felt when he saw the elderly widow drop her two coins in the temple treasury. She had little to give, but she gave what she had, and because she gave what she had she out-gave the wealthy.