I wish to buy my daughter Ryah Denise a set of lutu-lutuan (cooking toys) the last few days. She keeps on rummaging through our kitchen cabinet, taking out our pots and pans and playing with them on the sofa near the dining table.
But we need to keep a tight budget due to some unavoidable, imperative expenses we did a couple of weeks ago so that set of toy could wait. To somehow suffice the desire to get one perfect set for her, I find myself checking out toy sections whenever I get the chance.
In one of my window-shopping expeditions, I bumped onto a friend I haven’t seen for a long time. We sat to talk and I later realized through her sentiments that she’s going through a financial difficulty. If I had money to spare, I would have given it to her to somehow ease her struggle. Sadly, I haven’t.
I felt a sense of inadequacy because I couldn’t offer immediate practical support. I would like to help her. But the fact that I can’t, I now realized, was more of a blessing instead of a frailty because it provided me with a chance to make a prudent response.
As my friend was pouring her heart out, I silently prayed for God to show me what I could do for her to somehow give her a boost. Immediately, my heart desired to pray for her before we part ways.
I jumped a bit when she held my hand and thanked me for lending an ear. And when I told her I’d like to pray for her, she smiled, sighed and said that it was something she would not say no to because it was what she intended to ask from me in the first place.
We prayed together. Specifically asking for increased faith, strength and opportunities to mend both our needs. And somehow we felt God’s peace that He is in control and His reply is imminent when we separated ways.
My inadequacy allowed me to just sit back and look closely at what my friend really needed at that time. I discovered that she desired something different than what I thought is expected — something, surprisingly, I was able to provide. Getting a closer view nudged me to go to God in prayer that provided a way to meet what she hoped for.
This doesn’t mean that meeting felt needs is inapt. It can be very important, but it is more vital to help a person on what is truly needed. This may be new hope, faith, courage, true friendship, acceptance or anything that God would whisper in answer to arrow prayers just like mine.