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9/25/13

September 25, 2013

Today’s blog isn’t funny, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.

We’ve had a rough patch here and there. Some stuff behind the scenes and some much less so. (I mean, it’s hard to hide a helicopter.) Today, I am thankful. Not because I think things will be peachy from now on, but because I was afforded the opportunity to re-examine what really matters.

Yesterday, I had an amazing conversation with my son. It “filled my bucket”, as my daughter would say and made it absolutely necessary that I stop right then and re-connect with an old friend. Many of you in SC know just the friend and may have had your own revelations. I sent an email; it was very personal and sincere. I debated as to whether I should share it and risk the vulnerability of public opinion.

Then, like so many other times, I decided: It’s my blog, I’ll say whatever I please! Who knows, maybe this is something that someone out there in Internet Land needed to hear… So I’ll share this with you:

My Dear Mr. Brown,

I hate that I am so terrible with communication and keeping up with folks. I think of you and your family often and cherish the time I spent with you in Beaufort. The business lessons, but more importantly, the life lessons that I learned in that short time have stayed with me and I am certainly a better person for the time you invested in me.

I want you to know how grateful I am.

Today, I had the blessing of sharing something I learned from you, with Tate. (Tate is now almost 5′ 8″ and 140lbs, by the way.)

A friend from school invited Tate to an event called “Collide” at his church. It’s a 3 night event, I’m guessing like a revival focused on middle & high school kids. Tate seemed to have a good time and told us about some of the topics they learned about. Then today, on our way to piano lessons, he reminded me that there was another session this evening. I was surprised that he was interested in going back. I expected him to be confused or maybe uncomfortable in a Baptist arena with his Catholic background.

And then… He said “You know Mom, Stone & I prayed today”. One of the lessons from last night was about prayer and apparently he and his friend, Stone, had planned to stop and pray after their first class together, so they did. Not an organized group, not because someone told them to, but because these 6th grade boys wanted to talk to their God. The class ended, they stepped to the side and they prayed. Out loud. I asked Tate what they prayed about and he told me that he’d said The Lord’s Prayer because it was the only one he could think of.

This is where you come in, Mr. Brown.

I talked to my son about prayer. I told him how I had always thought that prayers needed to be done quietly, on your knees by the bed, with your head bowed at the table, or mumbled together at church. I also told him that I used to think that prayers needed to be well thought out, very eloquent and probably kind of long. I mean, look who we’re talking too- that’s a lot of pressure!

Then, I was able to tell him how you changed my perspective on what makes a prayer. I told Tate that Mr. Brown prays all the time! Sometimes it’s short, sometimes it’s loud and always he is talking to God. I told Tate that sometimes I would walk in to the “cookie store” with a load of laundry and that you would stop what you were doing and raise your hands up and say “Lord, thank you for this beautiful day and for bringing my Laura here to share it with me!” I told Tate that was it, that was a prayer and just as meaningful as saying an “Our Father” during church.

I explained that you prayed like that all the time and that they were often prayers of Thanksgiving. This led to me explain that all too often, we get caught up in asking God for things or asking Him to fix something, give something, take something, that we forget to tell God “thank you” for what He has given us. Be thankful for the sunshine, your health, that you woke up today!

It was a brief conversation, but such an important one and one that I could only have with him because I learned it from you. I hope that the lesson sticks with him and I hope that it opens his mind to the amazing opportunities to speak directly to his God.

I also want you to know that hearing you call me by name in a prayer changed my life. It was “weird” to me when we first met. Just shouting out a quick prayer was not something my Yankee self had experienced. Besides, what made me so special? I was embarrassed that you were wasting God’s time by calling out to Him, just to tell Him I’d stopped by. I came to be thankful and honored by your friendship and touched that you took YOUR time to thank OUR God for the time we spent. I listened to how you prayed and learned (and still learning) to do it myself. It makes me feel good, it brings me peace, sometimes… And I’m sure the people in the car next to me in traffic get a giggle out of watching the crazy lady talk to herself. I don’t know if I’m great at it, but prayer is a much bigger part of my life, now that I know I can do it any ‘ole time!

For me to tell you “thank you” for giving me this gift to share, would not do justice to the level of gratitude I feel or the magnitude of your effect on our lives.

With Love,

Laura

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From → September, 2013

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