Faith*Family*Friends*(& Coffee)

Prayers with Skin On: An Open Letter to Our Neighbors

Dear Neighbor,

I just want to take a moment to say:

Thank you.

Yes, you with the tween daughter just like mine, who took my girls under her wing and gave them a familiar, friendly face on the first day of school. Who has been that friendly face day in and day out since then — who has opened so many proverbial doors and explained the wonderful strangeness that is an American school, and all the traditions and subtleties that come with it.

And to you, her parents, for being people we can talk to, bounce ideas off of, laugh with. Thank you for telling us the best place to watch the fireworks without the hassle of traffic, and the easiest route to school and for being a safe place for our kids.

And you, the couple on the corner with the brood of crazy kids just as loud and laughy as ours. For your son, the same age as mine, and the first one of his kind to live so close by. For playdates and dinner dates and Facebook chats and church hunts.

To the elderly woman on the other side, who baked us cookies the day our crate arrived, who loves our kids and our puppy as much as we do.

You all don’t know it, but you are answers to our prayers. Prayers we have uttered again and again for over a year. Prayers we’ve meticulously spelled out, and prayers we couldn’t find the words for so our souls simply groaned and let the Spirit speak for us.prayers-with-skin-on

You, are flesh and blood, prayers with skin on, tangible expressions of God’s goodness  being light and grace and kindness in our lives.

You see, we asked God for things. For friends, for confidants, for kids who are kind and funny and welcoming.

We asked God for what our souls needed and He gave us you.

Each and every one of you, it brings tears to my eyes even now as I reflect, meet a specific and tangible thing we requested of God. God saw our need, and your life, and saw fit to work His Hand, this way and that, weaving here, cutting there, to orchestrate the tapestries of our lives fitting together into an image more beautiful than I had dared hope. And He’s not done yet! This picture is only just beginning to come together, but even from the messy, thread-jumbled underneath side of the tapestry, I can already see that it’s going to be magnificent.

And I pray that we can be prayers with skin of for you. To bring blessing, peace, love and hope to whatever piece of your heart needs it most.

And now I turn to you, Dear Reader. Where has God been kind and gracious and offered you the answers to your prayers with flesh and blood, skin and bones, perfectly imperfect through the people around you?

And who do you know that might just need your touch of kindness, grace, patience, hope? How has God been weaving and working to move you into just the right place to be the light in someone’s darkness?

I would venture to guess that more of us are meant to be prayer with skin on far more often than we might expect. But if we open our eyes, open our hearts, and look for His fingerprints in our day-to-day chaos, they are there. And we are there. Woven together, holding tight, being stronger together because of the One who orchestrated it all.

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