"You never know," Betsy says, "who the Lord has praying for you."
My friend and I are sharing dinner. We're sharing hearts, too. It's been far too long since I've been comforted by Betsy's gentle, merciful ways.
I nod. But I'm worried for one of my sons.
"He has people praying," she says. "People you're not even aware of. I'm just sure."
Betsy and I talk for a few more hours. Then we part, and I forget her words.
Until the next day.
The boys and I are rollerskating. It's home school day at the rink. Zay and I clasp hands and he takes small, stiff strides. We're rounding the corner when a friend skates up alongside.
"How are you?" Amelia says.
"I'm doing fine," I say. "So are you. Look at you on those skates."
We chat for a bit, while the rink goes dark and lights from above throw pastel patterns on the floor. She's about to skate ahead, to catch her own girl, when she smiles so kindly that I can tell, before she speaks, that the words will come from her heart.
"I'm praying for you," she says. "I'm praying for your son."
I'm taken back. I don't remember what I've shared, but I'm sure it was scant. Maybe something in passing. Maybe something at the Valentine's party while we stuffed homemade boxes with lollipops and cards.
And I can feel the vise tighten. The strap of pain that comes when I hurt for my teenage boy.
Amelia sees the hurt, and her words are soft. "God brings him to mind often. Please know I'll be in prayer."
I thank her and then Zay slips. I stoop to catch him and when we recover Amelia is ahead of us, skating long loops on her own.
But my heart is touched.
I remember Betsy's words. God has people praying. More people than you know.
I'm in awe of a God who is so personal, so kind, to place what is precious to me on a sweet sister's soul.
And I shouldn't have been surprised, when two more times, sweet women, friends I haven't seen in years, e-mail and call to share that they are praying for my family, too.
So, though we're trudging through some tough times, I can feel His love around me. I know there are prayers, from beautiful hearts, being lifted to the Lord.
The prayers of my sisters sustain me.
The love of these women brings me comfort.
And God's kindness, His goodness in all this, brings me peace.