Friday, March 18, 2011

Baton Rouge-day three and a story about my mom

Didn't do much photography the third day. More azaleas and robins, with insect mating as a bonus. :)
The azaleas were beautiful and abundant
American Robin

You know it's spring when the mayflies are mating.
Two were going at it when a third one tried to horn in.
It was a wild scene, man.
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So I promised the story of my mother's big scare the day after our arrival.

For those of you who don't know, my mother has Parkinson's Disease. Some days are better than others, but the last several years have really been a struggle. Exacerbating the situation is her hiatal hernia. She has to be very careful about what she eats because when her hernia decides to attack, it's pretty brutal. 

It came on with a vengeance.

It got so bad at one point she began begging God to please help her, to please put her out of her misery. As I sat across from her, wondering if I should take her to the emergency room, she asked me to pray. 

My heart raced.

Yes, I am back in church and getting closer to God, but praying out loud with or over someone has never been a strong suit of mine. I hear people saying these beautiful, eloquent prayers, and know that my own prayers fall far short.

So I clasped my hands and closed my eyes, praying silently that God would give her relief. Quickly. After a few minutes I made the sign of the cross, letting her know I was done. She thanked me.

But she kept getting worse. (So much for my prayer!) I told her we would have to go to the ER. She refused, saying they would just keep her waiting for hours. I explained that if she gets dehydrated we're going to have a big problem, and at least at the ER they can set up IV fluids, even in the waiting area. No, she was not going.

My son sat next to her and held her hand. It was a sweet moment and a dark moment all at the same time.

As the minutes and hours wore on, it was becoming clear that a call to the doctor or visit to the ER was eminent.

She then asked the unthinkable: she begged me to lay hands on her and pray. Yes, she asked of me the one thing I am terrified of: praying out loud specifically for another. 

I remembered I had downloaded the Book of Common Prayer on my Kindle. I began searching in the table of contents for Healing for the Sick. As I was looking, she said, "Hurry! Can't you just say something?!"

I felt like a failure, but no sooner had she said that, I found the section for healing. With my son still sitting beside her, we both placed our hands on her as I read the following:

Betty, Mama, I lay my hands upon you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, beseeching our Lord Jesus Christ to sustain you with his presence, to drive away all sickness of body and spirit, and to give you that victory of life and peace which will enable you to serve him both now and evermore. Amen.

I read two more prayers after that for good measure; one called for anointing with oil, but even though I didn't have any oil, I read through it anyway.

Not long after that, the cheesecake she had for dessert came up. Usually, I am vomiting along with whomever is vomiting, but I found myself cleaning her and the floor up with no problem. No gagging even. I still can't explain how I was able to overcome my normally weak stomach.

She was finally able to rest. Although she said it would take her several days to get over the attack, she felt almost back to normal the very next day.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not giving myself any credit here at all. In fact, I am rather ashamed of my part in the whole thing; for my hesitation, my unwillingness to do what I knew was right. This is a glaring weakness of mine that I need to work on if I'm going to walk this talk.

On further thought maybe I'm missing the point. Perhaps God wasn't looking for eloquent words, but at my heart. Because in my heart I knew our help had to come from Him. And it did, despite my shortcomings.

12 comments:

Evelyn S. said...

God does NOT expect 'eloquent' words at all. He just wanted to hear from you, I guess. ;-)

hootnonny said...

God knows our heart whether or not we feel adequate in our prayers. And what a comfort you and your son were to your mother with your prayers!

Glad you and your posts are back. These are all wonderful pics. And those randy (is that a word) mayflies!

Hula Girl at Heart said...

Nowhere in the bible does it say we must pray beautiful words. God just wants us to talk to Him. The mere act of conversation is beautiful, no?

So glad she's feeling better.

Psst...I ALWAYS gag. I can't help it.

charlottes web said...

Gail,
Remember when Jesus taught his disciples to pray? "Our Father, who art in heaven..." That is a simple prayer and is perfect for everything.
I can relate to you about praying out loud. I am not one with a lot of eloquent words. But I did learn a bit when I was Baptist. All of their prayers are straight from the heart.
Oh, goodness! I am so sorry that your mother was having so much pain.I wouldn't want to go to the emergency room either. Sounds like you got an answer to your prayers.

Your photos are beautiful, BTW.

Jillsy Girl said...

I guess our strengths do come out in times of needs as did yours with your Mother. You should be very proud of yourself for the fact you were there when your Mom needed you the most!

Indie.Tea said...

I don't think eloquent words are needed in a prayer either...but your story was really touching. And both the story and your azaleas are beautiful.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

God knows our "groanings," so even when we are unable to voice our needs, God knows them. God bless you and your mother. I'm so sorry you both had such a rough day, but sometimes God simply wants you to ask Him. It's about surrender. Keeping you in my prayers too. BTW, nice pics too.

Joanna Jenkins said...

How very scary that must have been for all of you. I'm glad things worked out but i yiyi.

Hang in there, jj

Starla said...

Sometimes I think the reason people don't pray is they feel it is suppose to be "formal" (or eloquent).
I think that all God really wants is a conversation. Pray as if you are talking to a close friend. Pray as if you are blogging. Pray as if you are thinking outloud.

He wants our thoughts. Not our performance.
I'm glad you were there with you mother. It must have been scary for both of you.

lisa said...

I read this three times Gail.
What a beautiful post, and bless you for being so brave when it was definitely called for.

Louisiana Belle said...

You all blessed me with your thoughts, thank you so much. For those that provided an email address with your comment, I enjoyed sending a more personal 'thank you'. Hope you all have a great day!

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gail, I agree with Starla, I just know that God is not looking for fancy words and eloquent prayers for Him to hear us, all He is looking for is just for us to talk with Him. I am so glad that your Mom made it through okay and that you were there with her.