Dedicated to a prayer group at our church.
Why should it be given to me
that I should know the tones in which this one old man
cries, "Thank you, Jesus!"?
And how he prays that everybody we know will become
"Jesus boys and Jesus girls!"?
It is as though he has become
almost translucent with age,
and as the Light shines through,
it is beautiful to behold.
And I see the exuberant brother
who will welcome the day's newcomers
as though he was "shot out of a canon"
(to use an expression my children are fond of)
by God, straight at each visitor,
most particularly and specifically for them that day.
I remember the verse that one dear brother
prayed week after week:
"You are a God
who sits up high
and looks down low."
And the first few times, that verse was unfamiliar,
but he helped me make an acquaintance with it.
One week, he spoke a verse from proverbs,
("When a man's ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him")
and that was a very great gift to me,
though he knew it not.
It was as if I was meeting that verse for the very first time,
and he had introduced me.
I know my sister who calls God "Abba" with such pleasure,
and which brother cannot prevent himself
from praying for people's babies who are ill.
I know the strivings of heart of my close friend,
and which voices I've heard strong in hope,
and voices I've heard speak gratefulness in low tones,
and I know the sound of voices voicing regrets.
(including my own)
I do not know
how much pressure
and how much responsibility
has been laid upon the shoulders
of some of these men with families
by their workplaces.
But to hear them pray for friends and family,
for closeness to God,
for holiness for us all...
oughtta make me know something.
For how long have I forgotten
that the bearing of the names
of the sons of Israel upon his heart
to bring them to remembrance before the Lord
was an honor given to Aaron?
And then when our forever-High-Priest had come,
he bore our sins upon his body,
and bears multitudes of men and women
upon His heart before His father.
And why should this honor be given to us,
that we should be little priests interceding?
For men and women everywhere can be borne upon our hearts,
and borne upward: brought before our God, our Father.