“You keep tract of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book” ~Psalm 56:8
Driving to clinic one October morning, I prayed aloud, “Lord, I want to share your good news boldly with patients; but I’m afraid if I openly share and pray with patients, I may be fired. Shall I change jobs?” Trusting God would answer, I switched my audio Bible to the rest of my drive.
My first patient was Katrena-a shy thirty-ish female. Her limp hair covered her eyes, while a reticent smile flashed flawed dentition. She had previously shared with me her struggles with drugs, alcohol, and abusive relationships. Her greatest challenge was staying off methamphetamine long enough to prove that she was a safe mother for her son.
During our earlier August visit, she had tearfully pled for my help in her recovery so she could redeem her four-year-old from foster care. I had queried, “Do you like poetry?”
When she nodded in the affirmative, I handed her a slip of paper on which I had handwritten Psalm 56:8. “This is one of my favorite poems about the God in Heaven who cares about us so much that He notices each tear. He wants to help you.” I also handed her a red glass perfume bottle as a reminder of the promise. She accepted the miniature bottle appreciatively and allowed me to pray with her.
I had no idea what God had done in her life in the two months since our prayer. I greeted her, noting the medical assistant’s input of her chief complaint: “Recheck blood pressure.” Ahh! Her blood pressure was a much-improved 124/72, a hopeful clue that she had not recently used methamphetamine.
“I am so glad you are here,” she confided. “Since you prayed with me last time, I started reading my Bible and joined a women’s Bible study. I have been clean and sober for 56 days and I am having supervised visits with my son!”
Smiling, I affirmed her choices and thought, “Lord, shall I tell Katrena what I prayed this morning?”
“Do it!” God prompted.
I said to her, “This morning I asked God to show me what He wants me to do about my job. I think He used you to answer my prayer!”
“Oh!” she gushed, “You need to be right here in this clinic praying for people like me. That gives me goosebumps-here I am just a baby Christian and God is using me to answer prayers!” She bubbled, “Is it okay to tell my Bible study group?”
“Absolutely!” We prayed again together, Dear God, Thank you for Katrena. Thank you for showing her that You care about her very much, that You save her tears in Your bottle and write them in Your book. Thank you for her Bible study group and for keeping her clean and sober so she can be the mother she wants to be for her son. Thank you for answering our prayers and for using us to encourage each other. Amen.
As our eyes flickered open, I squeezed her hand as she embraced me in a big hug. We were “sisters”, and God was growing both of us!-Melinda Skau, LLUSM class of 1982, is a family practitioner in Oroville, California.