Tonight I did one of those things that I find very difficult, but necessary: going with my husband to pray with a dear friend of ours, who is dying, and his wife. My husband has a gift for this. I sit there and marvel at the way he allows the Holy Spirit to work through him. He seems to always know the right things to say and pray in these situations. I, on the other hand, seem to revert to my familiar tendency to clam up and feel awkward because I don’t know what to say.
When Jay got home tonight from dropping off one of our kids at youth group, he told me he felt like he was supposed to go see this friend, and asked if I would come with him. I didn’t hesitate to say yes, because I’ve learned that his discernment in these matters is almost always right on. All the way there, I just prayed, “Lord, You know this isn’t my natural strength, but I know You want me to support my husband, and if there is any way You can use me, please just push me out of Your way and work through me as You will.” Before we got there, Jay said, “Why don’t we pray a Chaplet, and then maybe you could sing ‘The Irish Blessing’?”
I was afraid he was going to ask that! But at least he asked before we got there, so I didn’t get put on the spot. When we got to our friends’ house, their extended family was all there, and a bunch of us crowded into the sickroom to pray. As I watched Jay take charge and lead everyone in the Chaplet, I fought to focus on praying and not on having to sing in this room full of people I hardly knew. During the fourth decade, I realized that I was losing my voice, which at first panicked me, until I realized that God was answering my prayer and getting me out of His way. So I just had to let go of the whole thing and depend on Him to orchestrate everything.
When the Chaplet ended, Jay told our friend that I had a song for him, and with a quick prayer I opened my mouth, letting go of the fear of humiliating myself. It was an incredibly freeing experience, realizing that it was all God. He was obviously singing through me, as moments before, I had barely been able to speak, and now it was coming out clearly, without a single croak. It was almost like an out-of-body experience. I knew I was singing but it didn’t feel like it was me. It was an awesome reminder that this wasn’t about me. My pride, and fear of making a fool out of myself were so unimportant in that moment, and I’m so grateful to God for making that clear to me. I’m also incredibly grateful to have a husband who invites me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I have grown so much because of him.
As we drove home, I found myself imagining how hard it must be to watch your spouse dying. And I was humbled that the Lord would use me to help minister to someone who was going through that. I pray that I will always be open to the ways He calls me, and that I will get better at getting out of His way. And I pray for our friend, for the grace of a happy death, and for his wife, that she would be comforted and upheld in the mercy of the Lord.
Please pray with me, friends.