Editor’s note. As often happens with God, the timing of this week’s Monday post by John Crilly, Personal Prayer, was perfect. None of us knew as I was getting Crilly’s piece ready for publishing, that our National Church Partnership Director, my husband, Jeff Klein, would be seriously injured during his regular lunchtime ball hockey game. Thanks be to God, Jeff is healing and he’s on his way to what appears to be full recovery. All that to say, it was fitting he would “continue” Crilly’s thoughts today with his own reflection after having experienced personal prayer. We believers certainly do have so much to offer others, don’t we? – Pamela Klein, On Q Editor.
I had no idea when I stepped out onto the gym floor with my hockey stick in hand—as I do most every Tuesday and Thursday lunch hour—that this particular game would be different. I wouldn’t finish it. Instead, I’d end up in a local emergency eye trauma clinic because I took a hockey ball directly to my left eye.
When my wife came through the doors of the waiting room, I was surprised—I hadn’t called her yet, but, wow, was I glad to see her. I mean, I could see her. But only with my right eye.
While we waited for the triage doctor to call us in, we huddled together and talked about the flukey way the injury actually happened, how I got to the clinic, and how Pam found out so quickly. She was relieved it looked okay—at least that was something—but we both, obviously, wanted to get the opinion that really mattered. What was going on in the eye? When would I regain my sight? Would I?
The doctor was calm as he proceeded with his very thorough exam using all the high-tech medical equipment and medicine at his disposal. Both Pam and I commented more than once that we were so thankful for access to such care, fully aware that it is out of reach for so many others.
After lots of examination and questions and conversation, out came the verdict: In one particular spot, the iris had been torn from the pupil (traumatic iritis) causing a hyphema (bleed) resulting in acute traumatic glaucoma. The doc delivered my instructions: extreme rest for the next five days and a combination of numerous meds and drops. Strict adherence to his prescriptions would be crucial to heal the tear, drain the blood, reduce the eye pressure, and restore vision. I was released with orders to return daily, sometimes twice a day, so that progress could be monitored. If things went as hoped, my vision would slowly return and I wouldn’t need surgery.
Oh. And of course, I was told to start wearing protective goggles for all my fun. I plan to oblige.
But before Pam and I left the room, Dr. T turned and said, “Well—I can imagine that since you’re a pastor, most of the time it’s you offering the prayers, rather than you being prayed for. Not today. Let’s take care of the real business.”
And he prayed for me. For us. Right there in the exam room. Very specifically: for the restoration of my eye, for peace and patience, for no surgery and for timely healing so that I could be cleared to travel to the week-long speaking engagement looming on my schedule.
Dare I say the injury was worth that moment? What a gift.
I can’t begin to articulate what it was like to be on the receiving side of such personal and specific prayer—the kind Crilly wrote about on Monday. The doctor listened to me, heard my concerns, and then laid each of them at the feet of The Healer.
Wow. How often have I taken this privilege for granted or underestimated its capacity! Every believer can pray for anyone who needs any kind of healing, temporal or eternal. What power we possess and what a gift we can give!
We have a faithful God who hears our prayers. Will you be the one to bring them to His ears on someone else’s behalf?
National Church Partnership Director