Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unspoken Request?

This is a blog entry I have been reluctant to make. The whole facebooking, blogging, and Twittering process involves sharing information about yourself with others. Everything from the mundane "had Fruity Hoops this AM, Yum!" to the amusing "son shoved rox (sic) in the furnace vent--only cost us $1000" (true story) to the annoying, "Jimmy bought a new cow bell and overalls in Farm-Land." I'm comfortable in the land of self-disclosure, and often (as you probably know) fill the digital landscape with verbiage both pedestrian and profound.

But recently, I ran into a roadblock. Something going on in my life so big, so perplexing, that I fell back on that old chestnut of youth group prayer meetings. "I have an unspoken request." For those of you unfamiliar with the expression, it could be hauled out if one was so verklempt as to be rendered speechless by life's troubles, or simply when you didn't feel like praying for Uncle Bob's travel mercies any longer. It was like saying, "I take a pass." Which was exactly what I felt like saying, when I found out that my dad had a tumor in his spine.

To be fair, my Facebook friends responded with grace and charity. "I'll pray!" said one. "From your heart to God's ears," chirped another. But it didn't feel like that to me. When an MRI revealed that my pops had a tumor in his cervical spine, I experienced it almost as a digital event, a strange post about a made-up world of fantasy; this couldn't be happening to me and to my family. Writing the status update , "my dad has a spinal column tumor" was something neither my fingers nor my brain were ready nor able to do.

Not that I am a stranger to tragedy. As a pastor, I have walked through devastating days with parishioners, and our family like yours has endured our share of pain. Yet in this pleasant season where we share a neighborhood with my folks, seeing them nearly every day, such unwanted news shocked me. Writing down that diagnosis seemed too stark, contemplating the possibilities too grim for me to attempt. So I retreated to the unspoken...

But now I speak. First, because I need help. I need friends and acquaintances to pray and encourage me because I simply can't handle life alone. I wish I could. Second, in speaking the unspoken I name our enemy, focus our prayers, target our petitions. Because as dire as that news is, I do believe in power greater than all our troubles. Speaking my need focuses my attention on God's power to save and heal, even in the worst situations.

I'll be frank; my mind often floods with the torrent of possible complications from a surgery that could scar, paralyze or kill. I choose nevertheless to give a "confession of hope" because "He who promises is faithful." That is to say, I dare speak these bare words of need because I do believe that Jesus the healer can and will deal with that need as only one who has died and rose again can... through the doctors, yes, and even beyond a doctor's skill.

So tomorrow morning you may see my status "At the hospital for my dad's surgery." I hope you'll join me in saying a prayer, because this is bigger than me. And the next time you have an "unspoken request" know that I'll understand. But more importantly, the Bible says, "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD." The unspoken is already spoken to Him. And that's what gives me hope...


Christennnn said...

I'll be praying Dr. Kidd!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. There is so much more to say but at a time when its hard to ask for help Ill say thank you because you dont know how much that helped. Be Blessed!!