I was thinking today about all the folks out there that I consider friends because we read and comment on each other's blogs and how I feel supported in good thoughts and prayers and whatever good will is available. I treasure the way we laugh and cry and follow each other's lives through posts and pictures and I treasure the things we teach one another--a recipe, a book review, a knitting pattern or how the bird migration is coming along. I especially love the way we are all over the place--different cities, different states, different countries, different continents.
And it reminded me of a story..............
I'm afraid that I may get some details wrong and ask that if anyone knows more about this than I do, please correct my factual errors.
In August, 1990, Iraqi troops moved into Kuwait and many of the Americans then in Kuwait were taken hostage in the American Embassy in Kuwait City. Among the Americans was a Southern Baptist Missionary named Maurice Graham and his wife and two sons. The Iraqi's released the women and children within a month or so but held onto the men .
At the time we lived in Tennessee and were members of a large Southern Baptist church which had an empty home available for the missionary family. The wife and two boys moved into the home and our church set about making them as comfortable as possible. Theirs was an experience that would be impossible to imagine for any one who didn't live through it and one of the things that our church did well was insulate the family and protect their privacy while they waited for their husband and father to be released.
I do remember one story, though, that came out during a women's meeting. The missionary wife had to make some arrangements with the telephone company that resulted in her talking with someone in an office many states away from ours. At the point in the conversation where the telephone operator asked for the name on the account, the missionary said her husband's name, Maurice Graham. The operator stopped her business-like questioning and said "Is that the Maurice Graham that we have been praying for?"
This was before normal folks had the internet but the prayer chain had spread wide and a telephone operator in another state recognized a name and a need.
I guess that's kind of what I was thinking about today, the internet helps us get thoughts and needs out to so many people--I can imagine somehow we who share each other's hopes, dreams, accomplishments and sorrows on the internet are really connected in a sort of spiritual sense.
When I was googling information and trying to remember dates and names, I found an incredible story from the December 24, 2007 Boston Globe about Aaron Graham, who at the time I knew them was the 10 year old son of Maurice Graham. This article is well worth the time to read.