I was expecting her to say, “Of course I will,” and leave it at that, but no, instead she took my hand and said, “Do you mind if I say a prayer right now?” --and without waiting for an answer, I sat down and closed my eyes and she began. Her first words were, “Father God,” and then, along with asking for healing and peace, she prayed that my brother-in-law accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Like in a dream, a million thoughts buzzed through my mind. Here I was, returning from a pilgrimage to sacred spaces in Ireland with other women and I was hearing “Father God.” The pilgrimage was entitled, “The Goddess Within,” so if anything, I was prepared for a prayer that addressed Mother God. Also, let me just say that I express my faith in a different ways, in different language: I don’t pray for people to accept Jesus.
So there I was, surrounded by anxious travels standing in the aisles waiting to deplane, thinking, “Wait a minute. I’m in charge of the prayer for my brother-in-law. I didn’t ask for those words.”
Ah, but next, was it grace? As I let go of some of those judgments and control issues, I began to embrace the deep message of love that I was hearing. There was no need for me be concerned. I had asked for her prayer, and that was what I was receiving from deep in her heart. Her way may not be my way, but if the message of Christianity, in fact of all religions, is love, well, there it was. And anyway, maybe that is all that God hears.