When Bryce was only a few days old, the Keys came to visit. In our small little duplex, we all crowded around the living room and passed that sweet baby around. Everyone held him, kissed him – we talked and laughed and wished Grandpa were there. Eventually, the conversation led upstairs to the finally-finished nursery decked out in Coca-Cola and polar bears. I showed Sarabeth and Amanda everything from the precious quilting my mother had made to the teeny little Nike shoes we bought for him.
At some point, we wandered back downstairs and my mother said, “Bob is praying for Bryce.” We peeked over the railing and saw that Uncle Bob was rocking Bryce and praying softly. It was such a profound moment for me – that someone else would pray so earnestly for my child. It brought tears to my eyes and I felt that it was a very significant moment in Bryce’s life.
In the years to come, we called on Uncle Bob to pray for many things. He interceded for us through sickness, healing and even sat with me in the waiting room when Erik had his heart transplant. Uncle Bob has stood in the gap for me and my family many times over the last 37 years.
And today, or soon, he will be leaving this earth and joining his Heavenly Father.
I never got to ask him what he prayed for that day while he held my baby. I wonder what he asked for and what blessings he claimed for that child. While I don’t know exactly, I do know that Uncle Bob would have prayed for God’s will in Bryce’s life. He would have prayed for wisdom for Bryce’s parents and he would have prayed that someday Bryce would make Jesus the Lord of his life. And I’d bet you anything he prayed for Bryce's health.
“. . . . and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
I’m overwhelmed to be reminded of this today. And I stand in agreement with Bob’s prayers in Jesus’ name.
Today I feel sad that Uncle Bob has endured these months of decline due to cancer. I’m sad that Sarabeth and Amanda are going through this for a second time. I’m sad that Bryce’s heart isn’t perfect.
But amazingly, there is peace in the fact that the Lord has all of us in the palm of His hand. That he has ordered our steps in this life and that nothing takes Him by surprise. I feel joy that I have a huge family that is sad right along with me – yet rejoicing in the hope that we have all been called to.
This week, one heart has begun its life’s battle. And another heart is finally headed home.
Uncle Bob, thank you for ALL of your prayers and support for us. Thank you for all you’ve taught me about dignity and humility. And thank you for the legacy you’ll leave in Sarabeth and Amanda. I love you.