Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Help-less Prayer

Shortly before Christmas, I was running errands with the kids. I was planning on stopping by Starbucks (never too cold for a frappacino, I say) when I drove past a young guy holding a cardboard "homeless" sign at a busy intersection. I figured I'd get him a hot chocolate while I was at it - 'tis the season, you know, and it was bitterly cold that day.
When I got back round to where he was standing, I pulled up, offered him the cup and asked his name. It was Steve. He was grateful for the hot chocolate, and I told him I'd pray for him (I would have prayed with him, but the traffic had started moving, and I didn't want him getting run down by a crazed holiday-shopper). And the kids and I did - we prayed that he would have a warm place to sleep, family to spend Christmas with, and that Jesus would meet his greatest need.
Now, here's the thing - when he told me his name, it got to me. That fast, he went from being a random guy, to being "Steve" - someone with a life, a family or friends, some kind of connection with others. I started wondering what had happened in his life that he had come to the point of standing at an intersection, in the bitter cold, hoping for generosity.
And what did I do? I gave him a hot chocolate. Big deal. In the main scheme of things, what difference does it make? It won't feed or clothe Steve, or put a roof over his head. It won't fill his belly or warm him for long. What had I done that would make any real difference? Nothing.
Except...I prayed for him.
My prayers aren't anything special - in fact, they're often rather bumble-y. But bringing a need that I couldn't even hope to meet to Someone who has the whole world in His hands is just about the most helpful thing one person can do for another. I don't know Steve's story and how he came to be standing on the roadside, but God does. I don't know what all his needs are, but God does. I don't know what will become of Steve down the road, but God does.
So, in the midst of feeling helpless, I was (and continue to be) encouraged that, when I'm looking at a problem too big for me to solve, praying is going to be the most important thing I can do and the best way to help.


Briana Almengor said...

And now Steve will have others ushering him to the throne of grace as folks read this post and pray like you did. Thanks for your example, Kelly, and for taking the time to write about it.

Anonymous said...

What a great example, Kelly! Thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

agreed, very sweet Kelly.