Carry One Another
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)
The text comes in at 7AM. “Surgery today. Please pray.”
My nephew’s wife stood hard and fast onto her brake, trying to stop her car as the car from the opposing direction decided suddenly to turn left into her path. The children in the back seat were okay. Her foot was broken like the egg in the nursery rhyme and the doctors didn’t seem to know how to put it back together again. Small town in Mississippi. Eleven days. Three surgeries. And the pain continues.
And so we pray.
Her broken foot that supports all her standing and walking and running as she serves others has become the weight upon my shoulders, the constant in my thoughts, the words upon my tongue.
“Lord heal her foot. Lord guide the surgeon’s hands. Lord, ease the pain and rain down your peace upon her.”
The High Priest Aaron wore the names of Israel’s tribes upon his shoulders and across his breast (Exodus 28) by God’s decree. God has given us the burden, the honor, the privilege, the joy to carry one another on our shoulders and in our hearts. “Lift one another up”, He commands. Care for your neighbor just as you care for yourselves.
It is this great love for one another that lifts us up to God. It is this act of prayer for one another that makes us more like God.
Jesus not only prayed for his disciples, those fishermen and tax collectors that sat clueless at his table, he also prayed for me. He knew that I too would come behind, longing to sit at the table of my Lord. (John 17:20-23)
Pray for one another. Call each other out loud by name.
This year I decided to try something new with escalating health costs. I enrolled in a collective healthcare sharing group instead of traditional insurance. Each time I call them with a question (yes – I am old-fashioned and like the immediate response of a telephone and a human voice!) the person helping me will close the call with the question, “How can I pray for you?”
It is so unusual and even a little bit almost too personal for even meto have a stranger ask me such a question - so I always decline. But one gentleman, gently insisted. “We all need to be prayed for,” he stated quietly. And he lifted me up to God, asking for Him to cover me with His peace.
It was so beautiful and touching, and I thanked him. “I have found,” he responded, “that everyone needs God’s peace.”
How true. Peace. Why would you ever refuse that?
And so we pray. Carry one another. Wear their names on your shoulders and across your chest. And be reminded, as you do, we follow a God who has tattooed our names on the palm of His hands.
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” John 20:26-27 (NLT)
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.