Friday, July 24, 2015

#18 Blessing Prayers for a Waffle House

It was several years ago that some man professed to know the exact day, hour, minute that the 2nd coming would take place. The media ran with it, counting down the weeks and days. I remember how it was joked about…what will you be doing when the world is ending? Well the day arrived. Dinner was cooking on the grill. The sun was shining. Gavin was making 2nd coming jokes. And Macey was singing and jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. As the moment drew near I noticed that both Paul and I had gravitated to our singing angle. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…. Nothing. No planes fell from the sky, no nuclear blast, and Gavin was still laughing at his 2nd coming jokes. Now mind you, Paul and I never bought this was going to happen, but we live in a post 9/11 world. If there is even an inkling that something is in the making that might bring harm to our kids we go into protective mode. We laughed and both admitted that if some event of that nature would occur that our Macey would be a guaranteed guest, and if we had any chance of making it ourselves we would have to grab on to her in hopes that we could go with her.

Innately good, compassionate, with an earnest belief that all people are worthy, she hopes for the best, prays with belief, and has the desire to just do the right things. At ten years old this girl has all the RIGHT answers, and more importantly I see her starting to live as a light to others. Everyone needs a person like Macey in their lives as a reminder of whom we are each called to be.

This last year I really started to see the seeds of her faith blossom into answered prayers. And to be honest when my child opens her mouth to pray, or I offer up a pray on her behalf I am starting to get a little nervous. There is a saying “If you pray for rain, better pack an umbrella” … but if Macey prays for rain pack your umbrella, a rain coat, put on your ugly wellies and maybe consider friending someone who owns a boat.

In January the two of us crafted a prayer-box and came up with a plan to pray. Each day we would write our pray on a slip of paper and give it to the other one. Macey would take mine to bed and sleep with the prayer under her pillow, and I would carry her pray request around in my pocket. We made a promise that we would take the time to read and pray about each other’s pray for the day and then place them in the box; a record of answered prayers, a tracking of blessings. Many of our prayers were for a specific person and peace to everyone involved in a specific situation. Her petitions to God tugged at my heart and not only did I pray as I promised her I would, but I found myself changing my approach and attitude regarding her requests. We talked about the box in front of this beloved person of which many of our prayers were for. We were on our way to the grocery store and happen to be driving past a new building in construction. Jokingly this person said to Macey “Why don’t you just pray for that building to be a Waffle House!” Later this person laughed at me and said “I bet she prays for a Waffle House.” I agreed, she probably would, even though it was never a prayer that she wrote out on paper and handed to me.

That building ended up being a stupid Verizon store, and hash browns in all kinds of ways sounded like a much better option, but it was a funny conversation that sparked an inside joke to “Pray for a Waffle House!” We all know that God is not a vending machine in the sky. However, sometimes I so wish that he was, especially when the recent prayers of Macey have been for a little boy her same age who recently found out he has a terminal, untreatable ailment. Faith in prayer is a challenge especially when the healing of someone is a resounding NO. Still we will continue to pray. Our list of prayers continues to grow and grow.

Last week it was my turn to help out in the elementary room at our church. Towards the end of the service they ask that the leaders to come up and pray with any of the kids that have a prayer request. Macey had said to me weeks earlier, “The next time you are helping my row, I am going to come up with you and we can pray about this thing together.” “Okay,” I had agreed, but when the time came she didn’t want to. I admit, this act can be intimidating as it is not something that we do together often. We didn’t go up front, but we sat together and I took her hands and I prayed for her like I would any other kid, only with the advantage of privy information because she is mine. Still I didn’t pray for what I wanted but what Macey wanted… and there is no doubt in my mind that this prayer was heard and answered. Before the day ended a chain of events brought about changes for this one person, for this one specific situation. No, it wasn’t what I wanted. No, it didn’t come about as I imagined. We prayed for rain and we got a storm. And honestly Macey doesn’t even know the specifics of what her pray shook loose for this person, for this situation, for the present and future of all involved. I just told her that I thought our prayer together actually brought about a change, and that maybe now this person will find happiness, peace and healing. Maybe now this situation can resolve.

About a month ago, there was news that Terre Haute is getting a Waffle House next year. We all laughed. This special person asked Macey, did you pray for a Waffle House? Well of course she had! I will never be able to look at a Waffle House again without thinking of Macey’s prayers for a Waffle House. I knew God had a sense of humor and probably likes hash browns with all the toppings too! And when this person we love sees a Waffle House I hope they remember her earnest prayers for them right down to a Waffle House because she knew it would make this person happy, and she loves this person that much that absolutely nothing is too impossible with a little prayer, a little hope and a waffle with a side of bacon.

“Every child is a message that everything is possible again; your past, your story, this world it all has another chance.” – Ann Voskamp

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