It was my husband’s turn to have “one of those weeks”.
I don’t like it when he is stressed or upset. It makes me sad for him! So, I made sure he had coffee in one hand and a loaded lunch bag in the other as he left, and he’ll have one of his dinner favorites waiting for him when he get’s home. I’m a big fan of the idea that the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy. But there’s only so much food can do.
As he walked out the door this morning, I was left wishing that I could have done more.
I feel this way a lot. I’m a “fixer”, if something is wrong, I want to fix it. I’m probably a very bad listener because of it. I have a hard time just sitting and being compassionate. My brain immediately jumps to all the things that should be done to resolve the situation. And of course (insert sarcastic tone here), my advice is simply excellent all the time, because I am just at that right age where I’m young enough to think I know everything and old enough to think that I’m old enough to know everything. (I really need to print out that Litany of Humility one of these days…)
My very sage mom and I talk about this a lot. I’ll complain to her about one of my siblings, or a co-worker, or a frustration with my kids’ sleep habits (teething is my purgatory), and inevitably she asks me, “Well, Hilary, have you been praying for them?”
Well… kinda? I mean, I say a Hail Mary in passing for a lot of intentions as I think about them, but no, I suppose I haven’t actually taken any specific time to pray for each specific intention. Prayer feels too passive to me. I feel like I should be doing something.
Clearly, I have been thinking about this all wrong. Take this as an example: if I had a friend in legal trouble, I would spend some time helping them to research the best lawyer to help them. That would certainly feel like doing something to me. But apparently, I’ve been having an issue transferring this reality into my spiritual life.
When you say prayers of petition, you are asking the most powerful being in the universe for help. I think the reason I don’t see that is a failure on my part to get to know God as well as I should. If I really believed in the goodness and mercy of God, and if I knew how willing He is to help us, I would run to prayer every time a friend had a problem. I would never feel helpless again. And I probably would think carefully before giving advice, knowing that the best Person for the job is already on the case.
It is good for me to keep my husband’s tummy full and cheery, but that’s not the end of what I can do as he leaves for the day. I’m going to really try to kick my prayers for him (and for everyone I love) into high gear, and I think I’ll start right here.
I don’t need to fix everything. God’s got it all handled, and He is just waiting for me to ask Him for help.