“Just Keep Praying For Me”

 “Don’t forget me when you win.”

“You know I won’t.  Get that bag packed for Hawaii.  Hope you have your passport.”

“You don’t need a passport, silly.”

It is the same conversation I’ve been having with this lady for about a year now.  Every week, I stop in a place to buy lottery tickets and one day, struck up a conversation with Karen.  We went to the same high school, but as she says, “I am way older than you are.”

One day I came in and told her I had three numbers on my Powerball ticket and that I am halfway there to sending her to Hawaii.   She laughed and said, “Will three numbers get me to Dollywood?”  She was very proud of how my book was doing and mentioned that she would love to have a copy.  I went to my car, got both my books out, signed them, and walked in and gave them to her.

She cried.  “An old lady like me doesn’t get nice surprises like this much anymore.”  I hugged her and went about my way, still thinking about what she said.  It breaks your heart and I would go in every time and try to brighten her world just a little bit more.

Until, one day.

I came in and found her despondent and withdrawn.  I made my usual comment about Hawaii and she had no reaction.  I knew something was wrong.  “Okay, what is wrong?  You don’t want to go to Hawaii anymore?”  Her head was down and she said, “I am sick.”  I was torn between being too nosy and wanting to see how I could help.

“I am sick.  They think it could be lung cancer but I don’t know.”  I stepped back and tried to think of the right thing to say.  Anything to keep her spirits up and as I gathered my thoughts, she grabbed my hand and said, “Just keep praying for me.  Will you?”

A few days passed and I went in to see her and was told she is taking some time off and I knew what comes next.  I would walk in and be told she lost her battle with cancer.  I prayed for her every night and was hoping for an update of any kind soon.

Fast forward about a month and I was at the doctor getting a physical.  As I am leaving, I see Karen and her kids walking in.  I rushed up and hugged her and she was so emotional.  I asked how she was and that I was praying hard for her.  “I am here with my kids to get my results.  I wanted them with me when I got the bad news.”  I stepped back and said, “A lot of us are praying for you.  Smile for me, please?”

She did, hugged me, and went about her way.  I went to my car and prayed for her like I have done many times.  Still had hope she would be okay.

That night, I made my usual stop at my place to buy those tickets.  As I was leaving, I told the lady behind the counter that I had seen Karen that morning at the doctor and did she have any update.  “Oh my God!”  Her reply caught me off guard.  “Listen to this.  Her doctor said she had no signs of any lung cancer.  Everything clear.  Everything.  The doctor said it was a miracle and that there were no signs of any cancer.  She will be back to work soon.  We are so happy about it.”

I sat there, with my mouth agape.  “Are you okay?”  I nodded my head and told her that I had just seen Karen this morning leaving the doctor and she looked as if she had just given up.  “Well she hasn’t, so you can continue to harass her when she gets back her soon.”

I went outside and remembered that night when she told me she was sick.  I vividly remember what she said as we talked.  “Just keep praying for me.  Just keep praying for me.”

I thought about the family and her when the doctor delivered the good news.  You are cancer free and it is nothing short of a miracle.  Amazing.

Miracles happen every day and all too often we let the negative come in and take over the house.   As I have said, open the door, let the negative come in and tell it, you are not welcome anymore and show them the way out.

Faith and believe.  Two important and powerful words.  Then add the power of prayer and truly anything can happen.  Anything.


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