A Midnight Clear
On a cold Sunday evening just before Christmas, my little dog and I were making the last lap around the block. The world was still, the moon full and the stars so bright and I felt like I could touch them. In church, the pastor told the story of Jesus’ birth so vividly that I could easily imagine the event as I walked. I was stirred to prayer by my gratitude for God’s Christmas gift, sent to us those many years ago.
I used an interesting method of prayer called “five-finger prayer” : 1. Use your thumb (nearest to you) to pray for those closest to you; 2. use your second finger (the pointing finger) to pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. They need wisdom in pointing others in the right direction; 3. use your “tallest” middle finger to remind you to pray for the leaders in the world; 4. use your ring finger, which is your weakest finger, to remind you to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need our prayers day and night; and 5. use your little finger to remind yourself how small you are in relation to God and others. Let your pinkie remind you to pray for yourself.
I prayed gladly for those closest to me, name by name, and then for pastors, doctors and missionaries. I prayed for our president and other leaders in the world, for the new 4 pound baby girl in my family and for all the other little weak ones who need our prayers. And then I came to myself.
Almost casually, I said to God: “Oh, God I wish You would help me lose some weight.” The minute the words were out of my mouth I knew I wasn’t praying for the right thing. Although I didn’t hear His audible voice, He “said” it’s not less food that you need, it’s more of ME! Well, after that shock, I knew that to hunger and thirst for Him is where I would find that deep satisfaction. He wanted to fill up the empty place in me with HIS GREAT LOVE.
I felt that realization so surely, the feeling stopped me in my tracks. At that exact moment, something lying in the street caught my attention. I don’t usually go around picking up trash out of the street, but I felt compelled to step off the curb and pick it up.
It was an unsigned, unsent new Christmas card that had been run over many times. It was soiled and bent and dimpled by tire treads. Under the street light, I saw a beautiful painting of Mary holding the baby Jesus. Her face held such a look of love and tenderness that my eyes filled with tears.
As I looked at Mary, I realized in a “holy moment” that God, the Awesome Creator of the entire universe, looks at little me, HIS CHILD, with the same tenderness I saw in Mary’s face. I let myself feel His loving gaze. I received it. I was filled by His love for me. Oh, Father, how I do thank You for my very own Christmas miracle and the truth about my hunger.
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A lovely story of the awesome way in which God speaks to us and demonstrates his love to us. I would say that the one part missing from the "five-finger prayer" method is something to remind us to listen to God's voice. You did so without the help of this method and received the greatest joy of all--hearing God speak to you in your prayer. Enjoyed your story very much. Keep writing.