Only Prayer

2 A's and a C sat on the front row of the church. While the majority of the congregation stood we sat most of the time unable to follow any of the service. A young boy who seemed as distracted as we were, walked around, approaching Aaron and Amila, he would climb up in their lap and then be off again chasing an unseen adversary.

Aaron leaned over and told me the boys father had beaten him when he was a baby and caused a serious brain injury. When the parents realized the damage – they abandoned him. His aunt, a victim of abuse herself, does the best she can to look after her three children, this disturbed young boy and his two older siblings.

About halfway through the service, the boy still wandering about fell on the ground and began shaking violently. The aunt knelt beside him holding him, and began praying.

I watched in stunned silence, witness to an epileptic seizure, in the middle of a jungle, with no access to medical help or enough television trauma shows under my belt to do anything. There was no 'doctor' in this house. There was no shout from those gathered 'Someone call 911'. Here there is only one option in any emergency – PRAYER!

The church didn't look around at each other blankly wondering what to do. The Pastor didn't even hesitate when his sermon was interupted and say with authoratative tones 'Let us pray'. When the aunt knelt, the sermon stopped and everyone automatically knew what to do. They began praying. Hands were raised with the petitions of the saints and soon the seizure ended.

I live in a world where the first thought that comes to my mind is 'he should get some help'. This is a medical emergency not some 1st centurz demon casting issue. I have the luxury of technology and treatment and dismiss the really practical one for the 'modern' one. I have heard the skeptics of Biblical healing and demonic exorcisms use similar arguments – schizophrenia, epilepsy and pick from the list of what we have diagnosed a problem to be.

Here, under the tin roof of a jungle village church they are still counting on the Great Physician. They are throwing themselves and every problem they have down before the throne and crying out 'God help us, help this child – there is nothing we can do – but we have You.'

It was Easter Sunday. I was about to see the 'rest' of the story.

The service ending, the seizure over – communion was celebrated and the Father praised. Communion, the tradition shared among the faithful, looks different everywhere I go. Back home, we are passed cute cut-out wafers piled in a silver serving tray. The 'wine' is diluted grape juice in handy little plastic cups all fit together in a specialized holding tray so no one spills anything while it is going down the aisle. This day communion looked like this: the congregants came forward and knelt on the craggy concrete where the epileptic boy had just been. There were no 'kneeling pads' for our comfort or convenience. This was no smooth surface or carpeted cushion. And as I was trying to ease myself down on the rough surface 'suffering' through very temporary discomfort, I was convicted by the thought of truly entering into the suffering of Christ. Really giving myself over to His will and trusting His ways. I consider myself blessed to see things like that. I wanted the faith like these followers.

God granted me the opportunity.

After the service, we made our way down to the children's home to have a ceremonial blessing and share lunch together. A rainstorm interupted the activities and we waited inside for the storm to pass. But a new storm was on the horizon.

Seeing Amila's computer nearby, I asked to log on and check my email. Not too many, but there was one from my oldest son with the subject: MOTHER.

I opened the correspondence and read only the first paragraph before the tears came. He went on to explain how my youngest son was strggling with suicidal thoughts, depression and heavy drug use. He didn't know what to do. They are working on getting him into a treatment program but... He closed by saying 'As you Christians would say 'Pray for Greyson' By this time I was weeping. The Pastor's wife embraced me and said 'God has said it will be okay.' She prayed, in words I could not understand – but didn't need to.

For I knew earlier, the loving Father had given me a picture of His faithfulness. One of a helpless child, surrounded by a circumstance where nothing was available. Nothing but the name of the Lord.

I don't know how He will answer, but I do know He heard as the people cried out while this child was having a seizure, and He heard as they cried out for my son too.

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