Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Prayer for a Stranger

Photo by Nirahan

I originally wrote this piece on 5/8/08
for the weekly FaithWriters writing contest.
It won 1st Place for its level.
The given prompt was "In-laws."

Prayer for a Stranger

I don't know if you've been born yet, but I'm praying for you.

I don't know who your parents are, or where you live.

I don't know if you'll be pretty or homely, fat or thin, athletic or bookish, outgoing or shy, robust or sickly.

I only know that someday you are going to marry this precious little baby boy that I hold in my arms.

So I'm praying for you.

I pray that God will protect you from the Evil One, and from all his plans. I pray that you will be kept pure in heart and body. I pray that you will not fall into the trap of religion, of Pharisaical false-assurance, of empty ritual and creed. I pray that you will grow to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. I pray that God will give you a heart that loves children and will gladly sacrifice to stay home and raise the little ones that you and my son will create together. I pray that you would know the joy and peace and hope and quiet courage that can only be found in God's arms, and that you would see through all of the enticements and false promises that the world will offer when it tries to woo you away from Him.

And I'm very aware, little stranger, that I have a great obligation to you. I hold in my arms your future husband. May God give me the strength and the wisdom to raise him to be a godly man. By His grace may I teach him to love to play more than to stare at the television, and may I teach him to love God and his neighbor in the way that he plays. May I raise him to desire good old-fashioned hard work and the rewards that it brings, rather than the cheap thrills of constant entertainment. May I be the kind of salt that creates thirst, and may I direct him to the Lord for its quenching. As I interact with my husband, may I show my son an example of what a godly wife should be, so that he will have the wisdom to choose you, dear stranger, and not a worldly counterfeit. May I, by God's enabling, raise him to love you before he ever meets you, so that he would not dream of defiling himself with anyone else in the meantime. May the Lord grant me the privilege of raising this little one into a man who will give you joy and love and fidelity all the days of his life, who will humbly accept the spiritual leadership of your home. May I pass on a godly legacy that will become so precious to him that he will delight to work with you, hand-in-hand and soul-with-soul, to pass it along to your children and grandchildren.

And I apologize in advance for the many times I'm going to fail in all of this.

Oh, and while I'm praying, I don't want to forget that the time is coming when you and I will, Lord willing, know one another at last. I pray that I will have the wisdom to let go of my precious son, and to feel no jealousy when he gives his heart to you. I pray that I will always be available to you, and that we would be close enough to talk and share openly. I pray that I would also know when to keep my mouth shut and allow you the freedom to enjoy being different from me.

Well, I'd better go. Someday my son will make his bed with you, but for now his bed has railings, and Noah's Ark sheets, and a mobile dangling overhead. I need to go put him there, because he's sound asleep now.

I love him so much. And somehow, in a way that only God can make possible, I also love you, little stranger.

Sweet dreams, wherever you are!
Your future Mother-in-Law.

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