A couple of months ago, I was chatting with a dear friend and the conversation went something like this:
“How’s your father-in-law doing?”
“Not too well, I’m afraid.” My father-in-law had faced some chronic health conditions, including congestive heart failure, the last few years. I brought my friend up-to-date with his most recent hospitalization and his subsequent discharge to a rehabilitation facility. It was becoming harder and harder to remain hopeful about his long-term health and prognosis.
“I will certainly continue to pray for your family.”
“I don’t even know what to ask you to pray for. For healing? For hope? For comfort? For wisdom of the medical staff? For patience? For my mother-in-law?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I’ll just pray with Amen.”
“I’ll pray with Amen. It’s from a book I’ve been reading. Let me tell you about it…”
The book was “Start with Amen: How I Learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind” by Beth Guckenberger. To quote the Amazon blurb, “amen is more than just a way to punctuate a conversation with the God of the Universe. Amen is a declaration of who God is and who we are in relation to him. It is a moment of submission and worship, saying “So be it” to a Sovereignty that holds all things, and acknowledging “It is as you say” to him who holds our lives.”
My father-in-law passed away a few days after our conversation.
My friend sent a condolence card with a single word on the front: