I can’t believe how fast this week has gone by! I have been remiss in writing any posts to keep you all “in the loop” about the house of prayer at Bolingbrook Hospital. I have been fighting off a very bad cold and unfortunately it got the best of me although I did make it into work every day. Today though I succumed and just stayed in bed until my assigned hours at the prayer room came up. (I feel loads better!!) The house of prayer has taken on a life of its own. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the comments that I’ve heard about this space and how much people have enjoyed it.
I can tell though, from the nearly full wailing wall that those who have come into this room have sensed God’s presence and felt comfortable crying out to Him from their heart. What an answer to prayer! This has become like an oasis in the desert of pain, illness, grief and struggle that a hospital can be. All the honor and praise goes to God for meeting each individual here and embracing them in his love.
Here are some quotes from “the wall”…
- “I want time to stop so I can be with you forever. I love you. Thanks for loving me!”
- Father God, Thank you for teaching me to be still and know that you alone are God. My steps are ordered and I am content with where have led me along this journey. I will praise you for who you are. May my praise be sweet to your ears. Love, Your Daughter
- I don’t want to do anything! I don’t want to read or write or talk or think, not even pray… I just want to be in your presence. Love, Me PS. I bet you always dreamed of having me in your arms!
As the week progressed I wanted to do something nice for Sabbath or add something little to make it special. So yesterday morning I stopped at the grocery store and bought a dozen roses and wrote some thoughts about Sabbath to add. Reflecting on the “sabbath” of illness and how sometimes it is only during illness that we pause long enough to rest and let our bodies rejuvenate. We are so rushed! I often live my life from one event to the next without even taking a breath in between.
“There comes a moment in our striving when more effort actually becomes counterproductive, when our frantic busyness only muddies the waters of our wisdom and understanding. When we become still and allow our life to rest, we feel a renewal of energy and gradual clarity of perception. The Psalmist speaks of this: He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still water. He restores my soul… God does not want us to be exhausted. God wants us to be happy.” (Sabbath by Wayne Muller p. 26)
My prayer is this sacred space has given some “fresh air” to the employees, visitors, & patients who have entered these walls. I hope they felt a connection that will push them toward God in their everyday mundane life. I don’t know what will happen after I leave or if there will be someone who will champion a 24/7 experience here, but I know for this season there was a purpose and a reason that the room was here.
Thank you for each of your prayers and your supportive notes. This week has been hard in some ways – especially physically as I’ve gotten sick, but with God’s strength and your prayers we have made it through. One more day – I am kind of sad to know it will end and at the same time curious to see what the final conclusion will be and who will step forward to see it continue (even just another event).
Lord, as this week comes to a close tomorrow I just lift it up to you as a sacrifice. Hear the prayers of your children as they cry out to you. Father may all that has happened here be to your honor and glory and please finish the work you’ve started in the lives of those who have come here. God none of the credit do I take but I give it all to you. I long for my life to be used up for you. Please honor your promise that you will give them a heart to know you and please be their God and call them back to you (jer 24.7). Thank you — Amen