The Perfect Gift
Often, it’s the simplest gifts that have the biggest impact. For example, silence in response to an angry social media thread or a patient smile for the cashier in a long line of short-tempered consumers can go a long way toward diffusing volatile situations. But a simple heartfelt prayer is one of the biggest impact gifts there is; it has the healing and saving power of absolute divine Truth behind it—and can turn around even the most hopeless of scenarios.
Recently, on her family’s return trip back home from a short vacation, my daughter learned just how powerful even the simplest of prayers really is. She left the tiny bathroom stall near their gate at the airport with her two young girls in tow—along with two back packs, a shoulder bag, a purse, a blanket, and a stroller. By the time they finished washing hands and packing up their things, ten minutes had gone by— and probably three times that many people. But it wasn’t until they returned to the gate where her husband and young son waited that she realized she left her new iphone X in the stall. She rushed back to retrieve it. But it was gone.
Nooooooooooooo! She called out loudly to the ladies in the room, “HAS ANYONE SEEN A LOST PHONE?” Nobody did. She hurried back to the gate and called her number from her husband’s phone… several times. Nothing. “Oh My God!” she thought… or did she pray it aloud as she ran to every gate within reasonable distance of the restrooms to inquire, “…anyone turn in a phone?” She called it at every gate and listened for the ring. Nothing. She found a security guard, “has anyone turned in a phone?” He radioed the Lost and Found. No phone. If she wanted to file a report, the L&F was on the other side of the airport. She’d never make it back in time. The guard called her number from his phone. But no one was picking up. Her plane started boarding. She looked around and asked, “Oh God, what should I do?”
The guard suddenly remembered the Find My iPhone app. Coincidentally, my daughter and her husband had just spent the last three hours of their vacation re-discovering their long-forgotten icloud accounts in a tech session with her brother who runs an idevice repair & training business. It was quite the undertaking in gathering all the necessary account details for both of them so they could reset usernames and passwords, setup security protocols, and learn about features they never knew they had. And, now, here she was, in need of that exact information. She quickly logged in on her husband’s device and located her phone with the app. “I’m listening, Father” she affirmed. Yes! it was pinging… two gates up. They asked the gate agents to wait till the last minute before closing the doors while she and the guard ran up the concourse to retrieve her iphone X. Her husband boarded the plane with the kids and their gear.
The target gate was packed with people waiting; they spilled out all over the place. She walked through the hoards inquiring about the phone. No one had seen it. No one turned in the phone at the gate. “Oh God, help me!” she whispered expectantly. Then she remembered that the app has an alert feature. She tapped the play sound button and continued weaving quickly through the crowd- which was becoming more and more quiet. But there was nothing. Until…
Way back in the corner. Did she hear the faint ping of her location alert, coming from a passengers bag? She headed back toward a woman standing up preparing to walk away. They made eye contact. The woman suddenly stopped and turned toward her. She unzipped her bag, pulled out the pinging device and asked if she had lost her phone?
“Thank you, God!” she sang out for the world to hear. Then, addressing the woman kindly, but firmly, next time, turn it in! The gate agents clapped when they saw her running back with her phone in hand and closed the doors behind her as she boarded the plane.
Prayer does stuff; It brings to light divinely-inspired ideas that provide us with practical help. It compels right actions such as helpfulness, patience, and forgiveness. It restores harmony where discord is running a muck. No one is exempt from, immune to, or outside of its power. It positively impacts our lives as well as the lives of others; as National Woman’s Hall of Famer and religious leader,, Mary Baker Eddy, confirms “not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (Miscellany). Surely, the woman who found the phone could have powered it off, thereby rendering the location app useless… but she didn’t. She could have run away or hid when the alert went off... but she didn’t. She was, instead, saved from wrong doing, from committing a crime.
Prayer is a gift we can give every day; it is tangibly felt and always heard. We don’t need to use a lot of words or even specific words to pray. The divine ear hears our humble heart’s desire for rightness, righteousness. James Montgomery says it like this in a poem, “prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try; And prayer’s sublimest strain doth reach The Majesty on high.”
Give the gift of prayer today.