I really did not know her well, this woman with big hair and even bigger eyelashes. But here she was in all her fabulous, nonstop cell phone talking glory waiting on me to finish her immunization series.
You see, when I’m not writing words. I’m a pharmacist. And I give vaccinations on a regular basis. The last time I checked I’ve given well over six thousand vaccinations to adults for everything from the flu to typhus. So, it’s a pretty standard, routine thing for me to do.
But not yesterday.
Yesterday as I prepped this patient’s arm she asked me what everyone is asking me these days,
“Have you gotten your baby yet?”
And just like that the scab on my heart gets ripped off and all my momma feelings start to scream and threaten to show themselves. It takes every ounce of whatever makes up the titanium that is the marrow of my bones for me to look her in the eye and smile politely and say, “No ma’am, not yet.” Then I do my best to succinctly explain a process that I know too much and not enough about.
“Somehow,” I say through cleansing breaths, “somehow, his paperwork is being held up at the final level. They are investigating some details of his case. It’s been almost six months and they can’t tell us how long it will take.” And I pause there for a second closing my eyes while trying to remain composed and professional in front of an almost stranger, then I add, “we don’t know when he’ll be home now.”
She apologizes for my situation as I give her last vaccination in the series she needs for work. As I place a Band-Aid on the tiny pinprick just barely visible on her left deltoid she says, “I know you must be a woman of faith or you would not be doing this.”
And I reply with a simple, “yes,” because my faith is so thin these days I cannot add much more than that.
She takes a step toward me then invading my personal space with ease and asks if she may touch me and pray. I extend my right hand and she firmly grasps it with one hand while covering it with her other.
I sigh deeply, suddenly completely at ease, as she steps boldly before the throne of our God on my behalf.
And she prays.
She calls loudly upon our Father God and is not ashamed.
She prays like I imagine Paul and Peter prayed. She prays like I am Moses about to face Pharaoh or Esther about to be chosen as queen. There is a ferocity and genuineness in her words that will not be ignored. Her voice is calm and sure and she speaks like she’s got a direct line to the Savior himself. I remember when I could pray like that.
She begins by asking the Father for forgiveness and then claims the promises of scripture with every sentence. She asks the Father to recognize that there are two gathered in his name and that we need help. She calls out Satan and all his schemes. She names him for who he is and asks God to remove him from this situation.
She asks for intervention and assistance. She claims her right as his daughter and asks for him to prevail upon the hands and hearts of the people who have the power to release our son. Somehow, this stranger of the world, yet sister in the church, speaks to every battle we are facing and she does it like she was born to do it.
She finishes by praying a blessing over me asking for my strength. Then she implores our God to send my son home.
Together we are on holy ground.
Hot tears flow down my face as I thank her and hug her good-bye. I am visibly shaken by the encounter because it is not often I get to hear people pray over me.
You see, I know people are praying for me and for our son. I know it. They tell me. They send me random texts on a Tuesday morning at 3:12am that remind we are not forgotten. And I treasure this knowledge, but it is a rare thing to see a warrior in action.
It is a precious thing to be in the presence of someone who knows who their Father is and who is willing to call down the Heavens on your behalf. It is even more precious to have them do it over you without pretense or affliction.
This woman did so much more for me yesterday than she can know. Her audacity before the King snatched me out of the infirmary and jolted me back to the fight. I have been praying quiet prayers. I have been lighting small fires. I have not dared have expectations because I had forgotten that to be daughter of the King is to be a warrior. And sometimes warriors get wounded. Sometimes warriors do not win the current battle. Sometimes I’m going to get my behind handed to me on a platter and sent home defeated for the day. But that does not change who I am.
I am still a warrior.
You are still a warrior too.
We have to continue lifting one another up by reclaiming the ordinary spaces we are occupying as holy ground. Our offices, our homes, our cars, our minds are all places where warriors can gather to audaciously ask the King to come down and intervene.
And so we must continue to pray mighty prayers. We must continue to answer callings that are bigger than ourselves, callings that we cannot in our own power accomplish. We must continue to believe that as children of the King we have the right to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16