By Roberta C. Bondi
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Extra resources for A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer
She wanted to be as much as she could with the many people she loves. She did not want to waste her time brooding over what might have been, or worrying about things that were of no ultimate concern. It made me happy to hear her talk—though I must admit that just being with her that day would have made me happy no matter what she said. I was filled with a kind of holy awe and gratitude that she would let me share in what already was and what was coming, whatever the hard times ahead. Later that night, as I mulled over the morning and afternoon, I understood that with Melissa's decision deliberately to live in this new world, Melissa had chosen the kingdom of heaven which Jesus had announced.
Roberta," she said, apologetically. " I interrupted. " I asked, stupidly. "Yes, I am," she replied. "I went in to the doctor on Friday to have a couple of lumps checked out in my breast. They did a biopsy Friday afternoon. " Past that point, there was not much she was emotionally able to tell me. Somehow, I got through the rest of the conversation and went on to my teaching. The next few days were terrible. For Melissa they were frantically busy, devoted as they were to tests, innumerable trips to doctors, a visit to the hospital to put in the shunt for chemotherapy, telling her grown children, making arrangements for help from a student, redoing her will, taking a trip out of town to visit her parents, and finally, beginning the chemotherapy.
You don't mean asking someone else to wish you luck or pray for you, either. " In your letter you also mention that you are beginning to suspect that this reluctance to ask other human beings for help may be connected with your difficulties in asking God for things in prayer, including even "your daily bread," if you let yourself think about it. You want me to tell you whether I think you might be right about this, and what my own experience has been. First, let me say that I agree with you completely when you suggest that how we pray—indeed, how we generally relate to God is always intimately and inextricably connected with how we relate to other people.