“You don’t know us,” he said, “but we want to pray for whatever it is you need...”
I got on the subway the other day, exhausted and eager to get home. Unfortunately, as soon as I squeezed into the crowded car I recognized the sound of aggravation headed my way. I love you, God, I offered silently, but New York is not a better place when people bellow Bible verses and shriek about sin at rush hour.
When the subway doors closed, I was in for a surprise. A small group began to sing softly. As the gentle harmony of the Spanish hymn rose, the irritation of the riders in the car began to drop. People slowly looked up from whatever they’d been scowling at, listening surreptitiously. It was soothing. Loving. Refreshing. Peaceful. It was everything a frantic, self-absorbed city needed in order to stop and reassess its priorities.
It got better. When the song was over, the leader worked his way down the subway car speaking softly. “You don’t know us,” he began quietly, “But we want to pray for whatever it is you need. If you have something you’d like lifted up to God, I will write it down and our group will pray for you for an entire week.”
A stony-faced man nodded; he knew someone who was having surgery the next day. A woman near me said she needed work. The leader moved along with clipboard in hand, writing down prayer requests. The mini-choir began to sing again. They weren’t intrusive, they weren’t demanding, they weren’t trying to persuade anyone. They were simply giving and living love.
I love you, God, I prayed. Thanks for the reminder to be love. It sure seems to work better than just talking about it.