I can’t pray for you, but I can make soup.
I will do my best to dice the vegetables evenly – to make each bite look pretty. If it’s my vegetable beef soup, I’ll brown the tiny cubes of meat before I add them to the broth. Otherwise, the morsels look a little gray. Maybe taupe. The soup will taste the same either way, but for you, I want it to look appealing. I’ll simmer the soup for hours until all the flavors meld and every spoonful is a nourishing hug for your belly.
I can’t pray for you, but I can call and text.
This way, I can be certain you know that I’m thinking about you every day. That I’m hoping you feel good. Hoping you feel strong. Hoping there is some comfort in being reminded that you’re loved by your friends.
I can’t pray for you, but I can send you a card.
I’ll spend twenty minutes reading every card in a display in Giant Eagle or Rite Aid or the little gift store with fun things at Pinecrest shopping complex. It takes time to find just the right card. To choose the card that I know will make you laugh out loud, or maybe one that you’ll hold to your heart for a second, remembering a special time we shared years ago. I can’t pray for you, but I’ll buy that card, bring it home, address it to you, add a stamp, then drop it off at the post office so you’ll have a surprise among the bills and flyers that cram your mailbox a few days later.
I can’t pray for you, but I can have good thoughts.
I can stop what I’m doing and sit still for a little while. I’ll close my eyes and picture you laughing and dancing. I remember you and me and our friends; we sang along while the band played a Beatles song. Maybe “Birthday,” or “Back in the USSR.” And I imagine you today, glowing with good health and joy, surrounded by family and grandchildren.
That’s my wish for you.
That’s what I would pray for.