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Praying and Doing

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.—PSALM 23:6 (KJV)

A week after her surgery, I brought my wife Debra home in a cab, through the honking, bristling, bustling streets of Manhattan. Home at last, Debra sank into an easy chair—looking small and weak, reduced, exhausted.

It was a long day at the end of a long week, maybe the longest of my life. A sister and a daughter had held me up, sharing round-the-clock shifts at Debra’s bedside as she slowly came back to herself, hurting. An extended and painful recovery lay ahead.

Just as we were settling into the apartment, the doorbell rang. It was our next-door neighbor, with the gift of our dinner just out of the oven. She had done this for us every Monday while Debra was in chemotherapy.

Every day, we were blessed by friends and family—praying and doing. Many made general offers—“if you need anything, call me”—but the ones who saved us offered something specific. One of our daughters cleaned our apartment, and another daughter came weekly to do the laundry. A therapist friend massaged Debra’s feet and my shoulders. These corporal acts of mercy lifted our burdens, just as the prayers lifted our spirits.

Gracious God, thank you for manifesting your caring in the caring of others.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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