Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Need Your Help

(The first and last paragraphs are the most important. Read these if you read nothing else.)

I’m feeling a little down now. I have a friend whom I’ve never met who’s battling some demons and is going through a black time. I wish I could take his pain away but I can’t.

While in the Army I worked with a man who was what I described as a “low life”. Infidelity was one of his lesser faults. We didn’t get along and it was getting to the point that a knock-down drag-out fight was going to erupt. Fear didn’t enter into it. With me at 6 feet 3 and 200 pounds and him about 5 feet 5 I knew how it would come out. Having to work in this situation every day is anything but pleasant and I didn’t see a solution other than violence which is no solution.

I’ve never understood prayer. I haven’t prayed in years. I don’t understand it but a miracle happened. One night I actually prayed out of desperation seeking some resolution other than a fight. The next day at work he came over and I prepared myself for the confrontation. He held out his hand, apologized for his responsibility in our hostilities and invited me and my wife to his house for supper. Holy shit! I couldn't believe it.

We went to his house on Friday and had a forgetable meal but the miracle continued. He had two shoe boxes full of black and white photos of orphans that he had taken in Viet Nam. He had a tender heart for children!

We never had problems after that. We were never friends but we weren’t enemies either. He was still a “low life”, still unfaithful to his wife, still a lot of bad things. The last time I saw him he was bare footed. He had vandalized some equipment and his boots were confiscated as evidence. He was sent to Korea just to get rid of him. Regardless, I remember him most for his photos of children and his outstretched hand.

Answered prayer? A miracle or coincidence?

If you pray, remember my friend. If you believe in sending out lovingkindness, please do so. Whatever you believe, do it so the demons will stop and the blackness will disappear. I want another miracle for him.


Blogger George Breed said...

Okay, Paul. Count me in.

10/27/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Red Bark said...

Sorry to hear about your friends situation. I hope you both feel better soon.

10/27/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Yeah, you can count me in, too. I'll be thinking about your friend.

10/28/2005 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Thom said...

Dear God...

10/28/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Clayton said...

I know that feeling, Paul, and I know what happens when you prayed like that. Years ago, in 1956 in fact, I was a new Christian and ran into a boy who was just a waif, having chased his step mother around the table with a kitchen knife.

I wanted to help that boy; I wanted to do it so bad I prayed:

God, if you'll let me help Larry I'll do anything [and I cast about in my mind looking for the supreme sacrifice]. God, I'll even be a preacher.

Until that moment I would have told you I could never be enough of a hypocrite to be a Methodist minister. But at that moment I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do.

I did it! 8 years in the parish ministry, and then I went on to better things.

Whenever you get serious with God he [she, it, whatever] is going to move in your life and bless you real good

Thanks for your post, Paul. You're okay.

10/28/2005 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I think you and I might have that particular friend in common. Whether that's true or not, I certainly can empathize with how you are feeling right now.

And, I want you to know that I believe with everything I have that he will come through this; he always does.

10/29/2005 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger graceonline said...

Wow, Paul. This is amazing. Thank you so much for pointing me to it. I hope your friend is better now.

Just so folks know your prayer response may not have been random, I will link back to my own post with a similar experience at Making Peace.

2/15/2006 01:40:00 PM  

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