Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Power of Prayer

Because I have a disablity, people often make strange comments. A lot of people come and tell me they are praying for me, even though they don't know me. I wish this randomness really meant something--maybe it does for those people. I always think sarcastically, "Yeah, you keep praying...whatever!" So here are 3 examples:

1) Today I went on a handcycle ride. I go seemingly up, up, up, and then I get to ZOOM home at the end. So I was at this level point, almost at the end. This guy came running across the street--he was probably 17 years old or so. And he asked what happened to my legs/why I was using the handcycle. Can't I just ride my bike??? Well, I certainly wasn't going to dive into my whole MS thing, and he didn't want to offer me some kind of alternative medicine cure. Instead, he wanted to pray over my legs. He went on for some time praying and then told me that I must have faith, and try something with my legs that I hadn't tried, later today. OK, I tried something--they still don't work. Thanks for praying though!

2) A nice guy at work told me he gets up really early to pray for everyone with whom he works. Then he added "and I pray for you too, Beth. I'm gonna see what happens with that." OK, yeah, let's see what happens.

3) Going into Starbucks one day there was a group of people and one guy informed me "we're going to be praying for you." OK, you go ahead and do that!

Random prayers, random times, maybe I should start some kind of random thing!

God, please help these random people praying for me to get fulfillment for doing so.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MS Walk Thanks: Hope will not disappoint us

It was Friday, the day before the MS Walk, and I was headed to my car after work. The wind was forceful that afternoon, so much so that it grabbed my notebook, flung it into the parking lot, and dislodged a Post-It note (I live by those things) with a set of important directions I needed. I grabbed the notebook, and struggled to reach the critical pink Post-It note. Suddenly, a new friend, Willy, appeared. He grabbed the note, handed it to me, smiled, and paused (yes, mid-windstorm, one can pause!). Then he said, "Somethin special is gonna happen to you real soon, Miss Beth." Many special things happen to me, and the following day’s MS Walk this year was one of those things. Why?

It took me Sunday afternoon to pause and digest Saturday's MS Walk. MS is a tough disease--some people at the Walk have clear, familiar, visible symptoms; many people at the Walk struggle with invisible MS symptoms; so many people are impacted in so many ways; there is always a sense of unfairness. But the Walk was fantastic. The "May You Dance" team grew this year. On our team, two of us have MS. The growth of our team was exciting; to roll with our team was exhilarating; to see all the people at the Walk showing support to those who have MS was encouraging. There was a sense of excitement; a sense of hope. There is hope that all the money raised will provide assistance to those who live with MS, and money for research toward a cure.

Sunday afternoon I went on a bikeride (handcycle--I ride using my arms)--my unique way of pausing to reflect. I climbed hill after hill, finding all the thoughts expressed above (unfairness, support, excitement), climbing, climbing, knowing the cure for MS probably won't occur in my lifetime, but wanting a world someday that does not include MS. And then I reached the top of all the hills, and knew the whole way home was downhill. I could let go! And when I let go I felt hope, and a profound sense of thanks--to all who donated and all who help those of us with MS who struggle daily. So although thanks is not enough, thanks for your support of the MS Walk. Your support gives hope to so many who live with MS, and hope will not disappoint us.

~Beth Newsom and team "May You Dance"