If You Can’t Cry Here… by Rev. Nani Arning

Recently, as I was waiting to be called back for my annual mammogram, I was again intrigued that it’s one of those places where it seems pretty natural and ok to talk to strangers. After all, we’re all there for the same purpose, all a little vulnerable in those hospital gowns, just waiting. I talked with a delightful older woman and she asked if I was there for just a routine check.  I am grateful my answer was yes.  A young woman sitting with us was asked the same question, hers was not routine and it wasn’t the first time.

As we learned a little more about her, tears began to run down her face. She is young and married, with a 2 year old. My heart at once ached for her.  The young woman apologized for crying.  As I handed her the box of kleenex, the older woman said, “Well, if you can’t cry here, where can you cry?”

Such wise words, aren’t they?  The older woman then asked her name and said, “I will pray for you.”  I have no doubt that young woman is prayed for by a stranger who took a moment to talk.

Have you prayed for a stranger?  This season of Lent invites us to not only give up something, but invites us also to take on something.  May your season be enriched by praying for the stranger in your midst.