Friday, April 25, 2008

The Waiting Room

Book Drawing: Leave a comment here or email me at and I’ll enter your name for an April book drawing to win a copy of The Stained Glass Pickup.

Do you sit next to someone in a doctor’s waiting room? Probably depends on the visit, whether for a contagious cold or a broken toe. Seating choice may depend upon your personality. While some folk will talk to furniture, others prefer hermit-hood, a magazine and a lone chair in a corner.

Once in a doctor’s waiting room, a woman and I began a conversation. In her seventies and a native Texan, she’d lived in the Montgomery area all her life. I recognized a tender heart when she told how sorry she felt for dairy cows when newborn calves are taken away.

In our roving conversation, she reminisced about Sundays and her mother, who took her many children to church in a horse-drawn wagon. My waiting room companion recalled asking her mother why she always carried a “switch and a Bible” into the church house, but said her mother only “waggled” the switch to control her children’s antics.

When services grew long and children grew squirmy, her mother allowed each little one to traipse to the wagon, alone, for refreshment. When her turn came, she found treats under the springboard seat, a jug of water and home made tea cakes—warm as sunshine.

Another day, another waiting room, my Mom and I listened for her name to be called. On that winter day, it became obvious that the flu bug had made many house calls. As the coughing, sneezing, Kleenex-toting crowd gathered, the newbies scanned the room and chose seats.

Through mannerisms, they posted “No Vacancy” signs in their seating zones. Mom had a cold and I paid attention to her that day and didn’t make any new acquaintances either.

One of the reasons folks are drawn to Jesus, the Son of God, is his willingness to hear our stories—to come along side to commiserate, comfort or guide. He describes himself as a gentle teacher, humble in spirit, who knows how to give rest to burdened souls (Matthew 11:28-30).

Isn’t Jesus appealing? I want to sit next to him. We can take turns talking and listening, but I think listening will be most beneficial. The year 2008 finds our nation in a great big waiting room, running over with blessings and illnesses.

People of prayer can be the link between solutions and the mighty hand of God. National Prayer Day is May 1, next Thursday. Across this nation, communities will host public prayer. In my hometown the gathering is at Cedar Brake Park, Montgomery, TX, from noon until 12:30 p. m., organized by Lakeside Bible Church.

Whether you’re chatty or quiet, join your neighborhood prayer vigil next Thursday. You’ll hear a prayer or story of faithfulness that will refresh your life—like a jug of water and a tin of teacakes, warm as sunshine.

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