Erin blankly stared at the monitor. Health issues created chaos and upheaval in her life. She recently quit her job and had to let her church ministries go to more able hands. She found the only thing left that she could do well was write, so that was what she set out to do. She searched the internet for writing sites and what she found was destined to give her a brand new life.
In another land, a whole different continent, time zone, and season away, Candy worked at her laptop. Confined to bed, she corresponded with friends; she encouraged and uplifted. A year before she had become a part of a large, committed online community of Christians, known as Faithwriters. She became well known as being a prayer warrior.
“I can’t believe it.” Erin sat at the edge of her seat. She was drawn to one particular spot on the Faithwriters message board. She read page after page from and about a woman named Candy. She, too, was suffering from a chronic illness. Like a magnetic pull, Erin wrote a long e-mail to this stranger, baring her soul to someone who just might understand.
“…Candy, I see on the boards that you are in chronic pain. I am, too… How can you stay so upbeat?...”
Candy checked the board one last time before turning in for the night.
“…Some days I don’t think I can continue on…”
Oh Lord, what are You thinking? Someone in the USA wants my help. I’ve been there, for certain, but I’m not qualified to answer her questions. Candy felt the usual anticipation rise up in her soul as she felt she was being challenged by the Lord once again. With a resigned but determined look, she quit arguing with the Lord and began to write:
“Hi, Erin. I know just how you feel….”
A few weeks later, the two were able to connect using an instant messaging system. They became sisters joined together through pain and held together through their belief in God.
“How can I have faith like you?” Erin held her breath in anticipation.
Candy hesitated, “You pray and ask for it.”
“Teach me to pray, Candy, I mean, like you do, like a prayer warrior.”
Candy started the prayer, hesitant at first. Then from her fingers to the keyboard, the words sailed from satellite to satellite and then across the ocean, where it displayed on the monitor and was consumed by Erin’s hungry soul. Soon, Erin joined into the spirit of prayer. Their words sailed back and forth to each other and upwards – right to the King Himself. The two hearts were drawn together at this time, in a new space called cyber, created by God Himself, for this very reason.
Erin, startled by the ring of the phone, leaned across the desk and answered. “Hello?”
“Erin? This is Ann. I don’t think you know me. I go to First Christian, too.”
“Yes, I’ve seen you there. You sound upset. Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to start crying. I know you live in constant pain.” She blew her nose. “I’ve just been diagnosed with Lupus. I didn’t know who else to talk to. I’m so scared.”
“Oh, Ann, I’m sorry. How can I help?”
“I heard you’re a prayer warrior. I need to pray my way through this but I don’t know how. As I thought about it, I decided the only logical thing to do is to surround myself with people who do. That’s why I called you.”
“Umm, I don’t know.” Erin fiddled with the phone cord. “I was exactly where you were only a couple of months ago. There are so many others better qualified. I’m so…so inadequate.”
Erin’s internal struggle lasted only a second more as she remembered a conversation she had with a total stranger that she met online, a conversation she initiated much like this one. Now she knew how Candy must have felt as she read that very first e-mail from the stranger in the USA.
She smiled knowing that God had brought her to this place. She began to pray, right then, on the phone. Spoken words zipped along the phone lines from one part of town to the other into the listening ear of a hungry Ann, and upwards to the throne room of God. Their hearts were bound together that day, two strangers that became sisters in Christ.
Editor’s note: Names have been changed and permission granted to use memorable moments from a wonderful relationship.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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