In the middle of a particularly busy day of kids, homeschool, seminary homework, and too many undone house maintenance projects, a friend I have not seen in a long time came to my mind. It is frequent for me to think of people throughout the day, and typically I move quickly to the next thought, or maybe say a short prayer for the person. But this time I did what is rare for me, and I texted my friend.
My friend was in the middle of a problem. The train she was riding was in an accident. Everybody was fine, but the situation was chaotic, and it looked like she might not get where she was going. So I prayed for my friend that another way would come, and texted her my 20 second prayer. Eight minutes later she wrote again that my prayer had been speedy, and she was again on her way! Problem averted through a very short prayer!
I am so glad I did not ignore this moment!
Intercession does not have to be about long hours in the prayer room. It can also be listening and acting on the Lord’s promptings throughout the day. The Holy Spirit is placing small missions in our minds and hearts. Are we listening? Are we pausing to act? Sometimes the most important moments happen in the shortest slivers of time.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 NLT).
At twelve, Martin contracted an illness that left him debilitated–unable to speak, move, or thrive on his own. His family continued to care for him, but did not realize he was aware of his surroundings. Then a care-giver changed his life by treating him like a person, believing in him, and helping him connect with an opportunity to learn to speak using technology. Now he shares his touching journey of having been very much awake and alert as a “ghost boy” within his unresponsive body. He pieces together his memories, sharing his strength in overcoming obstacles to re-enter the world by learning to communicate, gaining independence, and finding love.
This is a touching memoir, and insightful coming-to-age story, from one who has overcome so much adversity. Martin openly shares of being abused (verbally, physically, and sexually) in some of the special needs institutions that he spent time in over the years. He also shares of overhearing family members complain about the burden of caring for him, and of the many difficulties of being respected and noticed within the “real world” as a special needs adult. His positive attitude throughout it all is inspiring, as is the way he speaks of God as an ever-present companion in the years when the outside world could not recognize the life and intelligence of his active spirit.
I found parts of the narrative hard to follow as it is not always chronological and felt jumbled at times. The writing itself also varies between very engaging, and not-so-much. Overall though, it is a blessing that Martin can now share his story. He and his wife Joanna are both strong and inspiring individuals, and Martin’s perspective gives new meaning to what it means to be alive.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.