On the seventh day at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, there was rest. Some friends visited from Fayetteville bearing gifts and a bit of reprieve. Then, on the eighth day, I woke and found that my way of prayer has changed.
For months I prayed for Titus’ mystical healing, a magical salve. I bowed with a community of people, hands laid on a baby’s head and belly, and prayed in good-right faith that his body would grow. I prayed by morning, noon, and night, as if I could will the will of God. But God’s will sometimes seems obstinately fixed and today, this eighth day, Titus’ feeding tube seems even more fixed.
Today I prayed more decidedly simple, more in the moment. In the moment I gave thanks for a Methodist church in Little Rock that heard our story, whose women’s group knitted a blue prayer shawl for Amber. I prayed blessings on the friend’s aunt who brought homemade bread and honey butter, the smells of home cooking. Chuck and Phyllis sent us Mother Earth News and home-brew from Russellville, and on the eighth day I thanked the Lord for their generosity and solidarity. I place a premium on solidarity these days.
Today I prayed for Titus, for God’s will to be done. That prayer is any parent’s undoing. At the same time, it is the steel of my will.
Yes. I prayed more simply on the eighth day. Simply for the bed of our home place where Amber and I will lay our heads and take heart soon. We’ll know what it means to endure then, and my prayer will be:
Bless us, oh Lord,
and these Thy gifts
which we have received
from Thy bounty
through Christ, our Lord.