I’m not the center of the universe

Published 6:05 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

There is only one center of the universe and it certainly isn’t me. I know that quite well. I have met others who seemed to think they were, but it never worked out very well for them.

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In this particular season, I find myself going through a very challenging time. I have been much in need of prayer, but that in no way means that what I’m going through in my own personal life is more important than what any other person is going through in their own difficult season.

I’ve been careful about sharing because I didn’t want to place a burden on someone else who was already fighting to keep their head above water. What I’ve discovered when I’ve asked people for prayer about my concerns is quite varied. Some people have been surprised, some sad. But there have been an equal amount who couldn’t wait to tell me their own maladies or worst case scenarios. Human nature is a complex thing. How we respond to each other is based on many factors that are not the same for any two people.

Of this one thing, I am certain. We should never get so bogged down in our own lives that we are oblivious to the needs of others. When I am actively engaged in helping others where I can or praying for the specific needs of others that have been entrusted to me, that is less time contemplating my own circumstances.

A lady that I had met but hadn’t known very well stopped me in Walmart and said she is praying for me and wanted to give me a hug. I needed both. Reaching out to someone doesn’t have to be a big major production. Sometimes a gesture as simple as a hug and the gift of prayer is just what’s needed in the moment.

I talked with someone today who has been down this same road in years past. She said it was truly amazing how the prayers of others can be felt when they are being offered up. She also noted that a person can tell when those prayers have been lifted.

The greatest thing about prayer is that it can be a simple thing that lasts a few seconds, a few minutes, or much longer. Long or short, prayer that covers another person is always a gift. God hears every single one of them.

Through the years I have seen people of faith praying for those in their sick beds and hospital beds, but I’ve also seen those same people from their hospital beds praying for others who were in not as much need as they were.

I remember a visit I made to rehab after my mom had been through a hip replacement. I went in to see her and she was sitting at a table with other patients gathered around. My mom was leading them in prayer. In spite of her pain; in spite of her challenges; in spite of her own needs, she was praying for them.

It is an short slide from a personal challenge to feeling sorry for one’s self or forgetting that there are so many other people around us with their own unique set of needs. That is human nature. We all have a right to on occasional melt down, or to wallow in grief for 5 minutes. But then it’s time to get up, shake the dust off, remember the goodness of God working in our lives, and remember those around us who need us to stand with them.

I can say without a shadow of doubt that God is good all the time. He is worthy of my praise all the time. HE is the center of my universe and as long as my heart and mind are focused on Him, I will not be oblivious to the needs of others. I know that all will be well with me no matter what comes, but I surely appreciate every prayer, and every act of kindness that comes my way.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.