On Friday morning I rushed out the door to exercise with my friend Karissa. My kids were staying with our babysitter, Haley. When I looked down at the front step I noticed a helpless bird fluttering her wings–lying on her back. I wasn’t sure if she found our doorstep after she was injured or had possibly hit the window pane and then feel to the ground.
My kids instantly spotted the bird as I was getting ready to leave. I glanced at Haley and she mouthed, “It's okay, we’ll take care of the bird.”
Maddi immediately asked, “Can we pet the bird, mom?”
I looked at my kids and said, “You can help Haley take care of the bird. Maybe you could ask Haley to help you say a prayer for that little birdy.”
Jordan followed me out the door and said, “Mom, prayers don’t save birdies.”
“Pray for her hurt,” I said.
Haley’s expression told me she had everything under control. Sighing, I kissed my kids and jumped in my car. Driving to Karissa's house I couldn’t help hearing Jordan’s words replay in my mind.
I have had many questions about prayer, the power of prayer, how prayer works and how I should pray since Shawn died. Like my son I have told God, “Prayers didn’t save Shawn.”
What is my image of prayer—better yet, what is my image of God? Is he the puppeteer in heaven directing our moves? When the car swerved to hit Shawn why didn’t God swerve it out of the way?
If my image of God is controlling than my image of prayer may also mirror the desperation we have in our lives for some type of control.
But, what if my image of God is comfort, care, and love? Then maybe my image of prayer is less about outcome and more about changing what is inside of me.
Lord, teach me compassion. Lord, teach me to care. Lord, teach me to see outside my hurt to someone else's and be of comfort if I can.