A close friend of mine received some bad news this week: her father is suffering from a life-threatening illness, about as severe as it could be. I have been keeping her and her whole family in my thoughts constantly. I was advised not to focus on the sickness in my thoughts, however–that paying attention to the disease only encourages it.
I don’t know about that, but I’ll tell you, it made me feel a lot better to think about healing instead of what’s wrong.
So when I pray now, I do it like this:
I see her father flying, for he loves to fly; I see him taking the boat out onto the water, and leading his students off to the most unlikely places, as he has always done; and I see her father sitting in the house he built, in the chair by the fireplace, smiling–always smiling. That part’s important.
I see her mother quilting, laughing, going down to the lake with their Labrador retriever, a tennis ball, and a plan; and I see her mother sitting in the big easy chair, laughing at her husband’s latest joke.
I see her sisters taking trips, dancing, singing along to all the best songs; and I see her sisters coming down the stairs to join the family by the fire, smiles lighting up their faces.
I see my friend, going anywhere and doing anything she wants to, then coming back to the house she loves on the island she loves, coming home from all the world; and I see my friend reading on the couch, looking up as her sisters come down the stairs, laughing with her family.
I see them all together, just being with each other, all as it should be.
Go on now, my prayer–be real. Be real.