Saturday, November 27, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, on one of my last daily bus loops to read and pray before starting my job, I went with a book that was supposed to be "lighter fare" than what I'd been reading for the previous couple of weeks.  A novel.  I read fiction rarely, for a whole variety of reasons best not discussed in this post, but that day I had one that I figured would be a fit for my whole list of qualifications and I set off to read it.

The book was "Unlocked" by Karen Kingsbury.  It was an "easy read" that took me a little less that the three hour bus loop to finish it, but I definitely fought tears at several points throughout the story.  I'd picked it up because it was a story about an autistic boy, and the way music reached him, and that fascinated me.  I'm always fascinated by the way the mind works, and issues of mental health, but I had ulterior motives too.  A friend of a friend that I pray for has a child that's severely autistic and I was curious to understand more fully what that might look like.  And, someone challenging that I deal with on a regular basis is at the mild end of the autistic spectrum, and I was hoping to gain insight that would make interaction with that person a bit easier.

What I wasn't expecting was that God would speak to my heart deeply and move me to pray for both of those situations, and for others as I read.  It was that, that moving of my heart in an unexpected place as I rode the bus that day that drew tears as much as the moving story itself. Looking back, I'm so grateful I read this book.  I'm grateful for the insight into the challenges of parenting an autistic child that it gave to me.  I'm thankful for the conversation it opened with another friend, that led to another book suggestion on autism (one I plan to start reading on a bus loop journey today, actually).  But mostly I'm so thankful for the reminder that God will meet my heart in the most unexpected of places and use the most unexpected of tools.  That a deep drawing of my heart to prayer doesn't have to carry the intensity and pain and fear that I had been deceived into believing it must for the last several years.  But that instead, in the most ordinary of places, on a city bus, my heart can be overwhelmed with peace, with expectation, with love that carries a crying out to God for the things he is placing in my heart.  That it can be the most natural and simple of things.  And that because it is natural, it will stay with me.  I've paused over and over again  in the following weeks to pray for those people and situations, simply because a story engraved them on my heart in the language that God uses to speak to me, in the voice I recognize as the one he uses for me.  And that, my friends is a gift.  To have a request be a passion, spoken from love, and not a burden that weighs down and exhausts.