Oh, Her Again

April 26, 2021
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Luke 18:13 – And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (KJV)

I wrote awhile back about calling 911 for a woman lying in the grass beside a parking lot, with all that she owned in the world scattered around her. When the firemen arrived and saw the woman on the ground, one of them said, "Oh, her again."

"What do you mean, 'her again'?" I asked him.

"She's often at the other end of our calls," he said.

A couple of weeks later, I found some identification lying in a gutter near the shelter. When I dropped it off at the police station, I found out that it belonged to the same woman. That allowed me to find her name regularly in an In The Courts column in our local newspaper. I began to clip out her records and use them as bookmarks in my Bible, reminding me to pray, as she was re-arrested for drug possession, assault, and misdemeanours like pulling fire alarms, squatting in apartment stairwells, and pushing and shoving those around her.

I can see that God that has given me the opportunity to prayerfully support her heavy burden of physical, mental, and emotional suffering. Such prayers seem to me to have special grace for those like her who live lives of rejection and despair. While she is not safe to contact directly, she remains at the top of the daily list of faces that I bring up to God in the morning.

Although we think that we know who the sinner is here, we who are Christians need to remember that we, too, were once lost, alone, helpless, and often offensive as we sank deeper into this world's mud, until God's grace brought us out. We, too, have our burdens and a daily responsibility to deliver them up to Him who invited us to "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30 KJV) How do we get off with such a small load of cares that can immediately be given to a loving heavenly Father for removal and blessing? We are the sinners here, knowing the right way to walk, yet often willfully ignoring the opportunity to be free.

In 1925, James Weldon Johnson and his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, compiled a book of African-American spirituals that included a gospel hymn that reminds us to include ourselves when praying for someone whom God has brought to our attention: "Not my brother, not my sister, but it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer."

Prayer: Dear Father God, keep us faithful in our intercession for those suffering, including ourselves. May we be vigilant and ever watching for any part that we may play in their recovery. How grateful we are for what You have done for us. Now, we accept Your offer to take the pain of others upon us, to keep their faces before Your throne of grace until that glorious day when those for whom we pray find their way to You. In Your Son's name, we ask it. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful story and challenge, Rose.


    Amen Ruth, so important. God bless!


    Thanks, Rose, for a good challenge today.


    Always a blessing to read you, Rose! I recognize your work every time!


    Hello Rose
    Thank you for another encouraging devotional. Have a blessed week.


    Amen Rose. Thanks for a good reminder to keep praying for ourselves as well as others.
    Blessings.


    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for your beautiful words. I felt them deep in my heart.
    I pray you are doing well and staying safe and healthy.


    Hi Rose,
    Your message today reminded me that there are many people “standing in the need of prayer.” Thanks for the reminder. God Bless!


    That is quite the calling, to care and pray for “her again”. You must be a very compassionate person. Thank you for your inspiring devotional.
    Thank you.


    Thank you, Rose. It is so painful when we attempt to walk with another who seems to be stuck in a life situation and watch the cycles repeat?
    Blessings.


    Oh Rose, how sad! Am praying this morning for that nameless and probably homeless woman. There’s so much sadness and suffering in this world! Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy and grant us grace and peace. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Bless you for tending to God’s sheep!
    A good wake-up call for me. Those around me are not obviously wounded, angry and rebellious, but still need to come to “the Good Shepherd.”
    Thanks for inspiring me with your meditation,
    (BC)


    How I enjoyed today’s lesson
    We do need to school ourselves in other’s lives and pray for them.
    I loved your reference to the Johnson brothers in 1925, writing that wonderful hymn!
    How everyone is standing in the need of prayer!!!
    Thank you for opening our eyes a little bit wider!


    Good morning Rose,
    Thank you for your caring of lost souls, suffering and unable to function in a normal way. You are kind, thoughtful and very special.
    Your devotionals are a blessing to me.
    Take care stay well,
    Have a great day.


    Good morning Rose,
    I appreciate the reminder “But for God, there go I”. This saying helps me to attempt to understand the plight of others and to pray for them and myself. I am not always good at this but your idea of putting reminders where you will see them often is a very good one to practice. We do forget how blessed we are to have God to turn to for his love, comfort, wisdom, and guidance. Thank you for sharing your story to keep us focused and to remember to pray for others and ourselves. Amen.


    Thank you Rose for reminding us that we all stand in the need of God’s grace. Too often we just look the other way. I happen to live in an area where there are many rejected people on our streets.
    I often say hello to them and say a silent prayer. Many tell me that I should not speak to them. What does a simple “hello” hurt and it may even help someone that one time, that needed to know that someone cared enough to even acknowledge that they passed by. Help us Lord to be ever mindful of the needs of others. May God bless you.


    I felt your words to be honest, authentic, and true. Good space to be in and thanks for taking me there with you.


    Dear Rose,
    Thank you always for your devotionals and your compassionate heart. Joining you in prayer for the suffering ones.


    Keep writing. How God is using what you write. Thank you.

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