At 3:59pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2017, my husband, Jeff – a captain at the Lawrenceville Police Department - called the house. Sirens wail in the background.
My heart stops. I know he is on his way to the scene of a terrible event – a horrible crime or a tragic car accident.
Today, he tells me he is headed to the latter. Our conversation is cryptic and brief. First, he tells me where he’s going; second, he lets me know that he’s going to be home late; and third, he says, “I love you.”
I always conclude our conversations with, “Please be safe. I love you very much, too. Come home to me.”
What happens after I hang up the phone after receiving a call like this?
I pray for all those involved in the heart-wrenching event. I pray for Jeff, the first responders, the medical examiner, healthcare professionals, and the families impacted by the travesty. And yes, I even pray for those who allegedly committed the crime or for those who are at fault for the accident.
Why do I pray for complete strangers – people I may never meet?
I believe that prayer is like an invisible warm embrace, providing comfort and hope to those in need. In this great big world of ours, where life can turn on a dime, there are other people out there like me who lift those we may not know in prayer. When we do this, I believe God becomes greater through our actions and it sets into motion a chain event of unstoppable possibilities, shining hope and light on the face of darkness.
When tragedy strikes, it doesn’t occur in isolation. It’s like when you toss a pebble in the pond, there is a ripple effect. There are multiple lives and families affected. On this day, many people – men, women, and children – weren’t able to come home. Many were seriously injured at the scene and required hospitalization. There was even a fatality on this particular day.
There is power in prayer.
Through the power of prayer, God calls on those to do his work through Him. Approaching life with a ‘how can I help you’ attitude versus ‘what’s in it for me’ kind of mindset will yield a much more abundant and blessed life. So, before it’s time for us to come home to Him and before we have to stand before God, reflect and ask, “Can I give an account of all that I have done for others in His name in this lifetime?”
Perhaps, when we pray for each other, God looks down at us, smiles with outstretched arms, and says, “I hear your prayers. I am always with you and I keep you safe. I love you, too. Come home to me.”
About Katie Hart Smith
Katie Hart Smith's column, “From the Heart,” touches the heart, inspires, entertains, and speaks to one’s heart and soul. With over 20 years of experience, Smith has written for a wide array of audiences. To learn more about this Southern author, visit www.katiehartsmith.com.