In the wake of a physically and emotionally painful week I received prayers and compassion today.
Today a long-time friend that I met in my first months of university decades ago called to see how I’m doing. Throughout our friendship we have had healthy debates about the existence of God and the meaning of faith. He has worked particularly hard to influence my beliefs and tries to have me see the world, if even just for a moment, through the lens of a believer in Christ, but I can’t. That ship sailed for me when I was about fifteen and my family and church minister failed to show me how God and Christ could fit into my personal belief system as I grew and started to question the world and my place in it.
As we continue to be part of each other’s lives we are more open to respectfully listening to the other’s point of view, but we know that neither of us will change our beliefs anytime soon. I may not understand it, but I do respect his unyielding faith in God no matter what happens in his life. I still don’t think living your life with the belief that everything is guided – if not already decided – by an omnipotent, omnipresent being is a sound approach, but it works for him. Over the years I’ve explored many religions in search of the same peace that he has. I haven’t had much luck. The only things that come close are practicing mindfulness and meditation, but my practice has little to no discipline.
When my friend called today and I shared the news of the week with him he was very upset for me. His confidence in my reluctant surgeon has plummeted and he believes I should try to get my case transferred to the second opinion surgeon. He can’t see how doing nothing and leaving me to live with this pain and even the slightest chance of developing cancer is the right thing to do. Furthermore, he doesn’t understand how my reluctant surgeon can so easily discard the opinion of the second opinion surgeon that I need to have surgery, or his strategy for the setup of a surgical team ahead of the surgery to cover any issues that could arise; not to mention the surgical pain management plans developed by the pain clinic to diminish the risks of greater pain after surgery. Especially when she doesn’t seem to have a solid plan of her own.
So my friend did the one thing he does understand. He prayed for me. He prayed that I can continue to endure my illness and the pain. He prayed that my doctors will soon find a way to restore my health and end my suffering. He prayed for God and Christ to watch over and protect me. And I was grateful for his prayers. Having him pray for me comforted and calmed me.
I may not share his beliefs but he loves me so much he prays for me often and asks God to grace me with his protection and compassion. I love him for that. And I must have faith and believe that when someone loves you enough to pray for you the goodness of that energy must have a positive effect in your life.
Duran Duran – Save A Prayer