There is a group at our church that meets each week to make prayer shawls. They knit these shawls and have a stash kept at church that people can draw from for various reasons. The church gives out a prayer shawl to 18 year olds in the church as a way of wrapping them with love and prayers in their 18th year as they chart new territory and are sent out into the work or post-secondary school world. It's always a moving time to see the shawls presented and to hear the parents talk about their children.
The shawls are also given to people who are going through a hard time or illness, or who are preparing for a challenge. My husband was given a shawl when he was about to defend his Ph.D. dissertation. Our family was given a shawl to take to France with us for our 4 month sabbatical, as a reminder of our church's prayers and support for us while we were gone. We felt very blessed by these tangible expressions of prayer and love.
My daughters and their friend had a meaningful opportunity to give a prayer shawl this past Sunday. I will never forget this experience, and I doubt they will either. A friend of Eden's has been going through treatments for brain cancer. We visited him at his home and the girls gave him prayer shawl along with a big card from the children at our church. When they finished telling him about the card and shawl, he said, "That's the nicest story I've ever heard."
Because of his brain surgery, his sight, speech and mobility have been affected. But his spark is still there. He cracked jokes, laughed loudly, and played a mean game of Connect 4 with his guests. Since visiting him, we have shed many tears for a world where a 6 year old like Nolan could get brain cancer. We are praying fervently for Nolan's brain and body to be restored. Will you join us?