My grandmother has always been there for me. She would prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the morning for my uncle and I when we were children. She would never dare to leave the crusts on my uncle’s sandwiches due to his disdain for their less than soft texture. She would hand me a glass of Coca-Cola, crack a fresh egg inside, and tell me with a warm smile, “Its good for you.” Without a second’s hesitation I would gulp down my slimy, carbonated, protein-filled, soda concoction. If grandma told me its good for me, then it must be good.
Weekends were spent at grandma’s where some rules of my own home were temporarily suspended and new rules were unknowingly discovered when they were broken. There was nothing worse then getting a paddling from grandma. It was as if being reprimanded by someone as revered as Oprah Winfrey. Oprah doesn’t get upset with people. She only showers them with love, gifts, and Toyota Priuses. Does she not? Grandma was all love, but when we acted up her hand was as swift to the bottom as any.
When sickness would befall my young, frail body Grandma always had a homeopathic, voodooistic, “sana-sana colita de rana” cure. I can’t count the number of times she would lather my face and chest up with Vicks and hand me a questionable mixture that would gag a maggot. Albeit, if Grandma said it was good for me, then without question it was good for me. She would stay with me throughout my sickness and check on me to make sure my pores were sufficiently clogged with menthol from the Vicks. All of this, she did out of pure love.
Now that I am older, I don’t call Grandma when I am sick or when I want PB & J’s, but she still plays a large role in my life. As of late, we have been attending church together. Afterward, we usually have lunch and talk about anything from my awkward childhood stories, to spirituality. As I was explaining some concerns of mine she gently intervened and told me, “I have been praying for you, Gabe.” This caught me off guard because the topic of conversation was not I. I continued to listen as she explained, “I have been praying for you because I know that as a young man you face a lot of challenges and problems. I pray that God makes you strong”. Still taken aback all I could manage to say was, “Thank you Grandma. I always pray for you too”.
What my Grandma told me continued to resonate with me because two nights before, in my sleep, I was struggling with a nightmare of sorts. In my dream I was dealing with a recurring problem of mine. In this dream, I was confronted by a person who was not going to back down until I was demolished. It was the sort of unrelenting dream that you try to wake up from but that still lingers throughout the day. As I was doing my best to stand up for myself, and to put an end to my torment my Grandmother entered my dream and she walked between the two of us. As she passed us my tormentor immediately dissipated and I felt instantly at peace. When I awoke, there was no residual fear or anguish, just peace.
Through prayer my Grandma interceded in my spiritual life. Although she doesn’t know it, her genuine prayer emancipated me from an issue I obviously had not been able to control myself. As I reflect on my dream, and my Grandma’s prayers I am filled with hope. Hope that through thoughtful, loving prayer we as sisters and brothers in Christ can help fight each other’s battles. We must know that our prayers for others are manifested in the lives of others whether we realize it or not. Our faith must be that if we pray for others that it will undeniably influence their lives. The power of prayer in numbers is evident in the book of Matthew 18:19-20 when Jesus proclaims to his disciples, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
So let us pray together. Who will you pray for today or more importantly whom will you pray with so that God’s light and undying love may transform their lives as my grandmother has transformed mine?