Thursday, February 20, 2014

Answered Prayer

Spontaneity and the High School Ring
June 7, 1997 was a beautiful Saturday in Denver. As I was getting ready to go downtown to meet with friends that morning, I was singularly drawn to my high school ring in my jewelry box. Although I hardly worn it, I picked it up and I was spontaneously compelled to pray for Madeline, a high school classmate I hadn't seen or heard from since graduation over 30 years before; nor had I kept in touch with anyone from my East Coast high school, nor had I kept in touch with anyone who knew Madeline. I didn't have the Internet in my home at the time, and even though the Denver Public Library offered access, I knew nothing about the Internet, let alone how to mount a search for anything; and I also figured Madeline probably married and, of course, her last name would be different.

Nevertheless, being so strongly compelled to pray never happened before then, so somehow I knew Madeline needed prayers, and along with The Lord's Prayer, I asked God to please give Madeline whatever she needed. I also committed to pray every morning for whatever her need was until I was as strongly compelled to the contrary, although I didn't know how I would know when to cease without necessary knowledge to do so. Nonetheless, I committed to praying every morning forever, if necessary.

After praying, I looked at the fine craftsmanship on the ring and at the profile upon it of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the founder of our high school teaching order. I decided to request the Saint's prayers of intercession. Then, even though I hardly wore the ring, I put it on and thought I'd wear it for a week or so, and kept my commitment every morning at the same time and the same place. Starting on Wednesday morning, I asked God to help me locate Madeline. I was more than a bit concerned for her.

Within a week on Friday at work, after eating lunch, I browsed through the lunchroom magazine racks for something to read, even though I had already read all the magazines that were of interest to me. With a sigh, I picked one at random, brought it back to my desk, sat down and, half-heartedly, flipped through it.

I gasped out loud as nerves ran up and down my spine, because right there, in an advertisement, was a photo of Madeline looking back at me! A co-worker, Reggie, who was at his desk near mine, asked me if I was OK.. Although I was shaking from head to toe, I managed to show him the ad and to tell him why I had such a reaction. He looked down to the bottom of the ad, then pointed to the 800 number, and told me to call that number, now!

I knew I had to; but during the week, the thought often crossed my mind that something terrible had happened, or was happening. And just as I had figured, Madeline's last name was not her maiden name. And although I knew God had brought me to that moment, it took me until my 2 o'clock break to calm down somewhat. I also knew that if Madeline had remained on the East Coast, I would have to call the 800 number by 5 o'clock Eastern time, in case the number was not manned after then, because I needed some answers.

I collected myself and my thoughts, and at 2 o'clock, I took a deep breath, asked God to be with me, braced myself, picked up the phone, and entered the number.

Communication by 'Normal' Means.
An operator answered and I asked for Madeline, but Madeline wasn't there. I gave the operator my name and told her Madeline and I had been high school classmates, we had not kept in touch, and yet, I had been praying for her since Saturday morning, and I wondered if she was OK.

After a brief pause, the operator said Madeline was OK, but her 83-year-old father had suffered a stroke on the previous Friday night, the evening before the morning I was compelled to pray, and her father had been in the hospital, in a coma, for the past week. I asked for Madeline's business address, and sure enough, she was on the East Coast. I told the operator I would write to Madeline immediately, and added that I would continue praying for both Madeline and her father. The operator said she would give Madeline the message.

After work, I went to the main post office in downtown Denver where mail went out every two hours around the clock, and I wrote a concise but explicit account of what had been happening with me since Saturday morning. I included my home phone number, and added that I was also praying for her father. The letter was on its way by 5 o'clock.

The Return Call and the Aftermath
Madeline called me late Saturday afternoon. She had received the letter that morning and the first thing she said to me was, the timing is astounding! She also said that the hospital told her the day before, on Friday, that because of her father's age and the length of the coma, there was *no* hope for a good outcome. In other words, they strongly implied he was "brain dead", and they also strongly suggested that she "pull the plug".

Nonetheless, when she got the letter that morning, she took it with her to the hospital and read it to her comatose father. Then she sat down beside his bed. About 30 seconds later, and in front of the hospital staff, her father sat straight up and asked, "Someone's praying for me?!" From that second forward, her father made a rapid recovery, extremely rapid for his age, because he couldn't get out of that hospital fast enough. And, on his way home from the hospital, he stopped at a church, a place he hadn't been for 60 years.

All Glory to God
God most certainly works in the strangest ways, like when there is no normal means of human communication; and He allows the prayers of the Saints to be added to ours because this combination of a communication miracle and a medical miracle was, indeed, also wrought through the prayers of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Tina Irene Williams

From ©WilliamsScript, the author's private collection of writings.
Copyright © Tina Irene Williams 1998 All Rights Reserved.
No part of this document may be reproduced without Tina Irene Williams' written consent.

From BAM:
Prayer is powerful. Tina shows just how powerful through her prayer and action.
We can speak with God in many ways. And God speaks with us through our thoughts, symbols and scripture. This is the "Divine cell phone".

About Tina:
Tina is my cousin and she gave me permission to post her story. I fell in love with this story and want more! Her writing style is inviting and engaging.

Tina and I recently connected and learned we share a love for writing and are encouragement for each other. Stay tuned by checking back, more to come!

Thank you Tina!