The bench in my office where people sit when I host them for meetings. It’s also where I can work while laying down on days when my back is bad.
Instead of sitting down for the chat she was there for, she had placed her hand on the back of my neck and was praying. Praying for healing.
This was a first meeting to talk about how our workplaces might benefit each other and although I didn’t expect the conversation to go like this, I wasn’t all that surprised. This wasn’t the first spontaneous prayer service I’d had in a professional setting.
If you meet me for the first time, chances are that as part of the introductions I’ll introduce my illness. It’s visible enough (through my sunglasses, cane, walker, knee braces, medications etc.) that sometimes I just like to have it out in the open right from the start. That’s how this encounter started.
I had met her in the lobby and by the time we made it to my office she was feeling the need for my healing.
While I appreciate her intentions and I recognize that her prayer came from a heart filled with love, I usually leave these interactions feeling like their prayers are misplaced.
Many Christians, on hearing of my illnesses (it happens with diabetes too, not just MG) have an instinctual reaction to pray it away. I pray too. Often. But that’s not what I ask for.
I pray that I will live well, with and despite my illnesses. I pray that I will be patient when my body slows me down. That I will be calm when my pain makes me cranky. That I will still be a helpful partner to my husband, and a good mother to my daughter. That I will learn from my limitations and find opportunities to connect with others, maybe even through my illness.
I don’t view faith as an escape route out of a tough situation. My faith helps me thrive in my situation.