Friday, July 24, 2009

Denver Broncos, Missing Friends, and Fasting

Oh yeah, St. Paul.... Well, close to their anyway. I'm going to an all day training today where I am going to learn how to train. I'm starting the day feeling whiney and with a headache and I never do well with day long trainings. So that's my pathetic beginning to the day.

Every once and a while my gift of faith gets me in a bit of trouble and somehow I put God on the line. Last night was one of those times. You can read about it almost word for word on Past/Future's blog. It reminds me of something that happened a long long time ago...

I was pretty naive. I was all of 22 years old, straight out of a Christian college not having spent more than a few hours with "non-Christians" in my life. After all, my life at the time was all about personal holiness and while we were supposed to impact the world, we weren't supposed to get too close. You know that kind of Christianity. Anyway, I was thrown into the den of iniquity, as it appeared, when I became a Residence Hall Director at South Dakota State Univerisity. Three hundred and seventy-five undergrads were my responsibility and I was only 21 years old the day I started the job.

FIrst floor east was full of football players. Big ones. Rough ones. Ones who partied all the time. And one of them really thought he was good. As I did daily, I was shooting the breeze with a few of the guys in the lobby and the rest had walked away and I asked Bruce, "So, what do you want to do with your life?" He said, "I want to get drafted." And I said, "I didn't think the draft was still in effect, can't you just enlist?" (OK, OK, not one of my brighter moments)

He looked at me as if to say, "Are you THAT stupid?" and then said, "The NFL draft, you know, Football!" Ahh yes, Football.

So out of my words pops a phrase that a year earlier would have been expected at that point. "Well, I'll have to pray about that. He said, almost sarcastically, "ok, you do that."

At that time, my mother was reading a book that she had been sharing with me and it was about visualizing your prayers. The premise of the book is that if we are praying we need to be specific and visualize the answers. So I tried to picture Burce playing football but I didn't know what uniform he was wearing. So I tracked him down a few days later.

"Who do you want to play for? I asked. He quizically looked at me and said, "Why does it matter?" And being 21, naive, and full of faith, I told him the whole thing. "I have to visualize you in a uniform when I pray." He laughed and said, "I don't care. I just want to play. You pick the team."

Being from Denver, the choice was easy. The Broncos it was. And so up until the day of the draft, I prayed about Bruce and visualized him in that orange and blue uniform.

Draft night. I'm scared to even watch it on TV. I busy myself with other things. People are coming in to let me know what round it is. He knew it wouldn't be the first few rounds, but someone came in and mentioned that the 5th round was over. Now, I don't know how many rounds they have, but a while later I heard some serious noise coming from first floor east. you guessed it. Eighth round. Bruce was drafted. I went down the hall to congrutated him and recieved a big hug and several thank yous. I said, "Don't thank me, thank God."

And you know the end of the story. He graduated that year and he took off for Denver.

The next year when I was home at my folks for Christmas, he and his fellow players picked me up and took me to a Broncos hangout for dinner. He ended up hurting his knee and getting paid $90,000 a year to sit on the injured reserve list for a few years before they decided he could not play. (Maybe I shoudl have prayed that he get drafted AND play football. Oh well).

Why did God choose to answer my prayer? Was it because of my faith? Was it because I went out on a limb? Was it to reach Bruce? Was it to encourage my own faith? I have no idea.

I have spent a lot of time IMing Past/Future over the last week. You guys coming together to save Princess was a big thing in her life. And for some reason it seems like finding Clay O'Connor is becoming more and more important to her every day.

Can God assist in this situation today? Of course. Will He? I don't know. And a conversation that was basically just an innocent way of me attempting to find out how cynical Past/Future is about God, turned into this deal.

Does God have bigger things going on? Yes. In fact, I know of a situation in need of all of our prayers. But God is big enough to handle them all.

I could write volumes about what I am learning about faith and Christianity through my new friend past/future and the hell that she has endured in her life. I have learned more than I want to about how organized religion has furthered her pain. But I also believe in a God that is bigger than church and even more powerful than the hurt that people who call themselves Christians have inflicted on others.

So I did it. I put God out there, just as Linny is putting God out there asking us to fast and believe for Cindy's healing.

Join me in praying about both of these situations. And to tell you the truth, I won't be surprised if Past/Future finds Clay today.


Gary Zimmerli said...

Great post, Claudia! Very thought-provoking. And this is the phrase I'm taking away from this: "But I also believe in a God that is bigger than church..." Now that's a keeper!

Mom Of Many said...

Thank you for posting about the fast for Cindy's healing!! xo