This week, a young woman from my home church on the prairie suffered a massive stroke. In a small community, everyone knows everyone else, and the ties stretch far across state lines.
Up here where the Irish play ball, she has a sibling, cousins, uncles, aunts and nieces, one of whom graduated with my own boy this last spring. All these roots intertwined with prairie soil.
My own nieces love her, for she works at their school. “Miss Gina.” That’s what they call her; this, per their mother’s report.
Then, too, Gina is a member of that special sisterhood known as the MOB, or Mothers of Boys. I have four, she has two, and we each have one husband. (Which means, of course, that I actually have five and Gina has three on the days they’re all wrestling around. But I digress.)
When the clots hit, they ravaged the left side of her brain. Silent, unseen, the blackest of thieves, they came to steal and destroy.
And they stole her words.
Of all the things Gina’s suffering right now, this is one that just pains me. For this girl, it’s my words that teach, encourage, and counsel my sons. It’s my voice that they want when they’re struggling.
My corny jokes and one-liners, they gladden our days, and with my voice, I share my heart with my husband. With my friends.
In the predawn darkness today, she came to my mind. Lying there, I saw Jesus standing at the head of her hospital bed. He was holding Gina’s head in His hands. And so I prayed a prayer I’ve come to love: “Breathe on her Your breath, O God.”
In the last several months, that old hymn’s come to mind, and it’s become very precious, full of meaning. “Breathe on me, breath of God.” I have found such comfort, as the Great Physician gently unpacks layer after layer in my own heart and life, in turning to Him and saying, “Jesus, I want You to put Your hands on my brain. Breathe on me. Heal all those old neural pathways. Make the crooked places straight. Trans-form me by re-new-ing my mind.”
How I love that simple prayer, that request. What consolation I find in that image; in the hands of Christ cupping my actual, physical brain, then breathing His own breath upon me.
There is life in His breath. There’s restoration and healing. And that’s my prayer for Gina today.
This is the song that I’ve listened to countless times of late. It’s been my prayer for myself, and now for Gina, too, whose words have been taken away.
Whether you know Gina or not, would you just say a little prayer and ask Jesus for her healing? It would be a great gift to all those who love her. Thank you for helping to carry the load.