Today was the three month mark. Three months since the neurosurgeon sliced open my neck and put a piece of hardware in it. It's been three months of hibernating with tea and movies and lots of time with my feet up. Three months of no driving, no lifting, no quilting.
My health is good. My neck has more movement than it's had in a decade, less pain than I can EVER remember. I'm serious. Even when I was a teenager, I remember not being able to lie on my stomach to read while I tanned because having my neck bent at that angle gave me a headache. Not so now. So I'm in awe.
And now free to get about the business of living again (except for this pesky right foot still in the lovely black air boot), this is a moment to consider what these last few months have taught me. While I've been sitting in recliners, my feet up, bone marrow growing in the new titanium plate in my neck, God's been teaching me how to impact this world disproportionate to my place. It's been my nature, as a person who serves Him, to want to DO for Him. To Go for Him. To speak and teach and share whatever testimony He gives me to share. But most of the last three months, He's asked me to be still before Him, to sit quietly and then to pray for those whom He gives me to pray. They aren't always MY concerns, but His. And this has revolutionized my prayer life.
See, it's easy--normal--to get caught up in my own concerns. It's what we all do, I think. But to get outside of oneself, to actually not think of self at all in the prayer, this is HIS way of praying. Most of the time, those for whom I've been praying aren't related to me on any but the most superficial level: they've crossed my path for a season, or we share genetic material. But I usually know nothing about their lives, their hopes, dreams or worries. I am only HIS vehicle.
And as I daily pray for others, there's a greater longing for this kind of deep prayer life. I don't want this gift to end. What if tomorrow I awaken, and there's no name given? What if I don't know for whom I am to pray? What if I go back to my old way of being, where it's only my own desires that I'm stuck with?
This is the ministry of a quiet season. And a grateful soul says thanks be to God for it. As this season ends, I earnestly hope that at least this grace does not. It's been a rich and fertile land.