“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Friday, October 9, 2009

The denouement.

On the Sidelines since 2004

Tears began to fill my eyes. The pressure was too much to bear. The anticipation. The excitement. The denouement!

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.)


Anonymous said...

That brought tears to my eyes. I am very blessed to have you on the sidelines with me!!

Amy said...

Very powerful words!

Anonymous said...

Hey honey...proof i read your blog! Thanks for cheering me on. Maybe someday i'll be able to finish the race b4 you have to "will" me! ;)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

And we can cheer and watch and wait for them at the finish line. I'm doing this very thing with a special friend of mine going through a very difficult season. I wrote about her tonight.

Great post, Sheri! And what a good cheerleader you are.

love and peace this weekend~elaine

Patti said...

Great thoughts friend!

vintage girl at heart said...

You are such a special person!!! I hope you know it!!

Tammy said...

heartfelt words my friend. You are a wonderful cheerleader to have on the sidelines. Blessings!

elizabeth embracing life said...

Wow Sheri!!! We can't run each other's race, but with all your experience I am calling you. Your timing in stepping in to offer, stepping away and recognizing where the need is, is truly your gift.