Sorry to poop out in the middle of the story yesterday. It's hard to read hideously long posts and so I thought I'd give it a break. So here is the rest of the story...
The news was not good.
Apparently there is some missing/difficult/inaccurate/stubborn paperwork and this little dear is off the list. Unavailable.
That first day I was so depressed I couldn't even talk. My silence was just as shocking as the phone call.
I couldn't even answer the phone when my friends called to say they were bummed with me.
And then the next day I thought and thought. And I thought how weird is this? And then I realized that I didn't feel a release from praying for this little girlie. I had lain in bed how many nights just wanting to accumulate crusties in my eyes when God would remind me over and over to pray and not stop praying.
So what does this mean?
Anyone else ever been frustrated at God?
The morning after the bad news phone call, I turned on my computer to check my e-mail and there was one e-mail, a Catalyst Monthly. The first article was called the Circle Maker and was about... prayer.
Shocking I know.
This is the part that grabbed me.
A devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation--the generation before Jesus. The last of the Jewish prophets had died off nearly four centuries before. Miracles were a distant memory. And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an old sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if the people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.
With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi drew a circle in the sand. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.
Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children.
Then it happened.
As his prayer ascended to the heavens, raindrops descended to the earth. The people rejoiced over the rain, but Honi wasn't satisfied with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the sounds of celebration.
Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.
The sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour that the people fled to the Temple Mount to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle.
Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of benevolence, benediction, and grace.
Then, like a well-proportioned sun shower on a summer afternoon, it began to rain in perfect moderation. Some within the Sanhedrin threatened excommunication because his prayer was too bold for their taste, but the miracle couldn't be repudiated. Eventually, Honi the Circle Maker was honored for "the prayer that saved a generation." The circle he drew in the sand symbolizes the power of a single prayer to change the course of history. It's also a reminder of this timeless truth: God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.
The all-powerful God of the universe is telling me to pray boldly. And I think it's about this 18 month old girl.
And so I pray.
Here in my circle.
So if you are still reading, would you help me?
Would you join me in praying a bold prayer?
Ask that the always good God who loves justice, would give that little girl a forever family.