Monday, May 14, 2012

To Pray or to Do, that is the question

What do you do in a state of absolute panic?  Or utter desperation? 

I have two people, my most absolute core, upon whom I can call at any moment.  In any situation.  One will spring to action, delegating and orchestrating, walk me through each step of the what-could-possibly-come-next scenarios.  And I know that when we hang up, or finish our frantic texting, she’s praying.  If she wasn’t already.  The other, because of geographic locale, will put down the phone and in that instant hit her knees.  They are one of her least favorite features; but I think they are her most beautiful.  She fights so mightily on them, she wields such remarkable power because of her willingness to bend them.   
To be clear, neither reaction is superior to the other.  I need both.  I need someone to remind me to breathe, and who will repeat until I believe it, “you’re okay.  You’re okay.  You’re okay.”  Someone who tends first to the immediate, physical needs of my person.  And then prays. 

Jesus did that. 
And I need someone to hand every shard of what I’m experiencing over, immediately, to the only One who can help.  Someone who sees the depth of need in my spirit, alongside the threadbare workings of humanity; and calls upon the mighty name of God for respite.

Jesus did that.
Thus, let me first encourage you.  Whatever your knee-jerk reaction to another’s suffering, be it of the fixing variety or the pray-it-out flavor, it’s okay.  Do that.  Do first what comes without examination.  If you’re a pray-er, then by all means, pray!  If you’re a doer, then do!   

Pray.  Do.  Both of these are exactingly displayed in the incarnate ministry of Jesus Christ.  One is not greater than the other.  Do not neglect these practices on behalf of your fellow believers.  I cannot express the relief in receiving these gifts, action and prayer.  Each, in a unique and meaningful way, ministers to our holistic person: physical and spiritual.   
When you are overwhelmed or desperate, I pray that you have someone who tends your physical needs and someone who carries you into the throne room of God, interceding on your behalf.  And when you have the opportunity to be a warrior or servant for another, I pray that you rise up to fill that role.  For the beckoning of the kingdom resides in the mouths and hands of His servants.  And the glory of the King is made manifest in the words and deeds of His people.               

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