Absence makes the heart…pray more?

The weather in Madison has been spectacular this week. I have found a few hours to get away from prepping the house and packing for a couple of bike rides. As I reached the top of a hill overlooking southwestern Dane County this morning I noticed I had been thinking a lot about family, friends, and staff and students at Pres House. Because I deactivated Facebook I don’t know what is going on with people unless they are my neighbors who I see outside enjoying the summer-like weather. I can imagine many of the posts – about the Badger win in the NCAA tournament today, the heat wave hitting Madison, and I am sure about other more important things as well. I miss knowing what is going on with the people I care about.

But today I found myself praying for these folks (you!) more than I usually do. In a curious paradox, as I have been wondering how everyone is doing, I have found myself lifting them up in prayer more than I do when I get daily status updates. I have been praying for folks who have health concerns as I wonder how they are doing. For students looking for work after graduation and preparing for Spring Break. For friends across the country serving churches or doing other important work.

I like staying connected and knowing about the ups and downs in our lives. But I am reminded that meaningful connection doesn’t come through a few characters on a computer screen. When I read a status update I fool myself into thinking I know what is going on and my duty to care and pray for the other is fulfilled – even if I don’t do anything more than blink and move down the page. But when I have to wonder, I find I am caring more. Maybe sometimes it is better to simply call upon God’s grace in our loved ones lives in whatever ways they need it in that moment – even if we don’t know what that is.

– Mark

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