We met as volunteers at a pregnancy crisis center – she with a desire to publish her books, I with the time and expertise to help her.
As writers, we both understood the calling and the passion of words – of using written tools to communicate God’s love.
We shared a room at a writers conference. I helped her publish another book.
Then our paths separated as I moved away. Yet somehow the connection endured, mainly because of her persistence in prayer.
She handwrote long letters, wanting to know what I was writing, where I was submitting my work.
And I knew, as surely as I knew her name – Jewel was persisting in prayer for my words.
Every consecutive letter – always snail mail as computers were not her love language – ended with “How are your writings? I am praying.”
And for every new book I published, I sent her a copy inscribed with “Thank you for praying these words into being.”
The years passed and I read of her progressive health issues, the struggle of car problems so frustrating for this dedicated widow, how to pay the rising taxes so she could stay in her home. The tales of grandchildren and the support of her family added color to her missives.
She asked about my son and always – always ended with, “How are your writings? I am praying.”
Then came that horrible day when the Easter card I had sent her was returned. A note from her beloved children, “Mom passed away – peacefully.”
No more letters from my Jewel. No more questions about my writing. Our connection now separated by the boundary of eternity.
This week, as I readied my office to become a true writer’s study, I thought about Jewel. Now that I am transitioning into the place I’ve always wanted to be, I knew she would find pleasure in the journey.
Is Jewel asking God about my writings? Is she reminding him of all the packets of prayer stored up on behalf of my passion?
Since God treasures all our tears and keeps them in a heavenly flask, does he also store prayers in a special file labeled for our destinies?
Do the prayers of a lifetime, from a faithful warrior, still affect the present?
I believe they do.
I live in the hope that our prayers for our children will continue to storm the throne of God – even when we are gone.
And God will listen because he cares. He will act, because we care.
Even now, I believe my writings are covered with Jewel’s prayers. The words will make an eternal difference, because one woman cared. And one woman prayed.
©2017 RJ Thesman, Author of “Sometimes They Forget” and the Reverend G Trilogy