A pleasant, unassuming man duly visited. After looking at our garden, we sat together in the living room, examining the brochure and discussing prices. It was then that I explained the reason for this purchase: I have recently lost my daughter, and wanted a quiet place to sit, surrounded by peace and nature.
Richard had seen her pictures and the dining table covered with “With sympathy” cards. He asked if I was a believer; when I replied in the affirmative, he offered to pray for me. In some countries, this may be a common thing, but it certainly isn’t here in England where active Christians are few and far between. So this was quite remarkable: The “shed” man offering to pray for me!
I was glad to accept. In his prayer, Richard referred to the well-known story of “footprints:” Normally our lives have two sets of footprints in the sand, as the Lord walks beside us. But once in a very great while there is only one set. Why? Because the Lord is carrying us.
The reminder of this story, that at times like this the Lord carries us, brings tremendous comfort. What does it mean to be carried by the Lord? Not to take any of the weight myself. Even though at the moment I haven’t been able to keep up my habitual spiritual routines—the usual pattern of life has been ripped apart; even though I have barely been able to speak with Him during these agonising months of my bereavement—my grief is not one I can put into words; even though I feel I can barely walk on the path of life—it is of no account. He is carrying me.
I can’t honestly tell you that I can feel myself being carried at the moment, but when I look around, I can see the signs—even in the Lord’s prevision at sending a stranger to pray for me.
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.—Isaiah 46:4 (NKJ)