Prayers for a Stranger

I grew up in Iowa, so it was a no-brainer to join a Facebook group called I Grew Up in Iowa.  Facebook cleverly shows when my friends like a post on that page.  I see my brother’s name, people I went to high school and college with, and teacher friends from my days at Lewis Central in Council Bluffs.

A teenaged-boy named Steele went duck hunting with his friends this fall and volunteered to hold the duck blinds in the back of the pick-up as they drove to their favorite spot near Anita, Iowa.  The truck wasn’t going fast, but a gust of wind picked up the duck blinds and knocked Steele out of the truck. He hit his head on the paved road and was knocked unconscious.

All this info has come from the parents’ posts. They are divorced, so most days there are two posts about Steele. The good news is that the family now has 29,000 people praying for their son. Most of us have never met the young man.

Lately the parents have been posting pre-accident photos so that we can see what he looked like. Now with tubes and IV’s and stitches in his head, etc, it’s hard to know. My heart breaks every day that I see a new post. Yesterday one of the parents reported that the doctor predicts two to three years before Steele gets back to a regular life.

Many of my relatives do not believe in God. Some are agnostic (not sure) and others are atheist (very sure) that there is no supreme being running the world. My late grandmother was the most religious lady I ever knew. She worshipped, cooked, and made quilts to sell for her church, Gatchell Methodist in Des Moines.  I spent many a Sunday morning at that place. I was the last Middleton to regularly attend Gatchell as a child.  My folks drove me to another closer church to drop me off, but it was weird, and the kids from school were there, and that made it weirder.

I am pretty sure that there is not a white Jesus sitting on a white cloud running the show. But I am sure that there is energy in the universe, and the more good energy one has surrounding oneself, the better. I’ve written about guardian angels.  I’ve written about ghostly spirits. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all connected.

So why in the world would I not pray for this teen boy with stiches wrapping around his head?

I used to teach those boys at Lewis Central.

I have a son.

I know what’s it like to worry about your children. I’ve never had (knock on wood) anything this drastic happen to one of my children, but I have needed prayers in the past for each and every one of them.

This blog post is for you, Steele. Your name says it all. You have survived two months of a horrific tragedy, in and out of the ICU, and the doctors are hopeful for your future. Your two brothers, your parents and 29,00 other people are rooting for you.

Now I look for you every day on Facebook so that I can send my prayers from California.

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