Standing there under the rain certainly wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world and does nothing to a woman’s poise and composure. Anyone can tell you that. I gazed hopelessly at all the jeeps coming my way. I looked down at my watch exasperated; it was going to take eternity the way things were shaping up. Taking a cab home wasn’t an option either, not when my purse was lighter by many hundreds the last time I looked. Three cabs gave up when I wouldn’t even throw a glance at them and sped away. Then the fourth one came. I felt my arm flag it down. Honest, that was not willed and to my great shock the cab pulled to a stop right in front of me. I could hear my purse groan with disbelief. Feeling a strong pull to get in, so I did and too unwillingly bid my lunch budget for the next two days goodbye. On the other hand, at least it got me out of the rain-- a consoling thought.
Now the cab was negotiating the thick traffic flow and I was undeniably getting bored. So I decided to amuse myself watching people do the rain puddle dance--- a skip here and a skip there, skipping everywhere. Engaged and entertained by that scene I giggled-- so much that I almost forgot that I wasn’t alone in the cab. Sheepishly I turned my eyes to the driver to check if he noticed my silliness. He appeared to be deep in thought. But he drove well winding through the traffic, so I wasn’t a bit worried.
Then I heard myself asking him how his day was. Like my arm that involuntarily flagged him down, now it’s my voice speaking up without my consent. Ugh! He looked at me through the rear view mirror, hesitated for a moment then said that life wasn’t good at all. His wife needed an ovarian operation soon; his debts were a mountain high; his Saudi venture was a dismal failure; and he may even have to give up this taxi soon because he’s several months behind on his payments. He feels that he has reached the end of his rope with no one to turn to, nowhere to go, and with his God seemingly out of sight. I was taken aback by his confession. I didn’t expect a litany of woes... Heavens no! I thought I’d catch a look at his face on the rear view mirror up front trying to see a bluff or any sign of devious motive. But all I saw was a face worn from carrying life’s heavy burdens.
I was stunned. I mumbled weakly for him to pray. He said that he does. I just sat there for what seemed an eternity when I heard myself say to him to hang in there because God surely knows what’s happening and knows what to do but.. it will be-- in His way, in His time. Oh brother what am I saying! He wouldn’t buy that; he hates God already. The driver looked at me, faintly nodded with a veil of sadness in his eyes.
At that particular point we finally arrived at my stop. The cab pulled up to the mall entrance, I opened the door and made to get off but something pulled me back. I turned towards him and offered to pray for him – the best that I could think of to help, I said. At that, his eyes lit up a thousand mega watts. He smiled and said “I know that none can be so strong than the prayers of one for another. Thank you very much”. Then he drove away leaving me glued to the sidewalk with my own thoughts.
Perhaps if just for a fleeting moment there, he felt hope. It took one tiny spark of a prayer to ignite, rekindle, and restore his dying hope and faith. It made him see the God he thought hid from him. All he needed was a prayer. This I know— when we pray for others, we are simply helping to direct God’s grace and blessing to that person. And when we pray, let’s use the simplest language known to man--- the language of the heart.
posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 1:12 PM