Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Please Hear Me

Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. (Psalms 86:1-4 NLT)
Thunder sleet in July!  This Fourth of July my husband and I traveled to Colorado Springs for a half marathon and a break from the Texas heat.  We got it! After the race, we visited the Air Force Academy, exploring the chapel and watching cadets in boot camp training out in the plaza. I found myself wondering whose sons and daughters they are and what their futures hold. Where will they go? How will they serve?

This time of year I can’t help but think of the folks who are serving, or have served, in the military. I appreciate greatly the freedoms that their sacrifices give to our country. We recently listened to a TED Talk by Afghan war veteran Wes Moore talking about the experiences of veterans returning from war. In his talk, he mentions how he used to say to soldiers, “Thank you for your service,” because he thought it sounded right. He came to realize that what veterans really need is for someone to hear their story, to understand what they experienced. Per Wes, often veterans feel ignored and the message they get is that their service didn't matter.

They feel invisible.

Sound familiar? I never thought before of the connection between veterans and being a special needs parent, but it is most certainly there. People say things meaning well, “What a blessing!” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” To them it sounds right because they feel the need to say something, but to my ears it is not helpful.  What is more helpful is the person who sees beyond behaviors to the family, sees beyond diagnosis to the people, and then takes the time hear the story. The simple request of, “Tell me about your week,” sure is much more helpful and meaningful.  We don’t need a knight in shining armor to ride in and fix it.  We just want someone to listen and care that what we do is hard and what we do matters.

I’ve learned in years of ministry with special needs families that when a parent asks, “Do you have some time?” that means they have a story they need to share. I used to feel the need to offer solutions, which I do still do from time to time if I have a resource at hand that I think would be helpful.  Mostly, they need me to sit and listen and pray for them.  There is healing simply in being heard.

PRAY:  Holy God, Thank you for your ever present faithfulness. We know when we pray that you hear us. Always. Thank you for he the healing power in that gift. Amen.

You can watch Wes Moore's Ted Talk by clicking on this LINK to YouTube.
Wes Moore TED Talk

~ Lorna Bradley

Photo by Lorna Bradley
Air Force Academy Chapel


  1. Gorgeous post - thank you! It's hard to feel invisible when I have such a great son - who struggles with friendships etc.......and it's a great reminder for all of us to listen and pray for others walking the journey with us.

  2. Thanks Brenda! Blessing to your family.