Friday, October 9, 2009
I was waiting at the finish line. Waiting. Looking. Hoping.
I found myself actually trying to will Anthony across the finish line on Sunday. Trying to will him to finish the Portland Marathon. But what could I do at this point? With .2 miles to go? There was nothing I could do. But wait. And it was frustrating me. There was nothing I could do.
Throughout the marathon I could meet Anthony and give him encouragement... or a bottle of Vitamin Water... or his sunglasses... or a granola bar. During his training I could listen as he talks through his strategies for running the marathon. I could support him at races of varying length throughout the year. I could drive him to the marathon. I could go to Red Robin to pick up a burger that he craves after a marathon.
But I can't run with him. (He's too fast for me!) And I can't run the marathon for him. And I can't even will him to finish.
As I struggled through my emotions, I recognized a familiar sensation. It reminded me of those sisters (and brothers) I pray for... especially those going through life-changing crisis... which are taking a long time to work through.
Sometimes when I am praying for someone especially for a long season, I want to run the race for them. "Here's what you should do" or "Let me do that for you" or "Keep trying"... are words that swirl in my head. I feel like I am standing on the sidelines... cheering them on... and wanting to will them to the finish as quickly as possible... so that we can celebrate. But sometimes there is nothing else I can do. I have to let that person run the race. Run their race. At their pace.
And as their support crew, I pray and I wait and I look and I hope.
And as I am waiting... I can offer encouragement via Facebook . I can give a cold glass of water (or a nice hot latte with pumpkin spice). I can listen as they talk through words they want to pen. I can suggest books. I can drive them to work or Bible Study. I can go with them to the doctor and listen to the diagnosis. And I can even go to Red Robin to get them a burger.
But what I can't do... is run the race for them. Which in reality is what I need to remind myself. So that I don't try to fix the problem. Not that I would ever try that, right?
I have a friend who has to remind me... "You don't need to say anything, Sheri." So, I don't.
But I pray.
(And if I feel so led... send her* a book.)