June 2, 2022
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”
I have been blessed by God in so many ways. As a young father we were living in Houston, 3 hours away from my father and father-in-law. We didn’t get to see them much due to the distance.
But God didn’t leave me without help. I was blessed to have a gentleman become the surrogate grandfather to my children. Mr. Frank Hopkins was in his 80s at the time, but he was at our church, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, for story time and anytime something was happening. My children adopted him into our family. We invited him to be part of our celebrations as a family.
I mention Frank because, he used to hear all kinds of problems people would complain about – and he would say, “I will pray for you.”
How many times do we hear that phrase? How often do we just blow it off feeling it is just a nice thing – a comforting thing – to say?
When Frank passed away at home – in his sleep – we were all devastated, especially my children. I was asked to accompany his daughter to collect some of his things. It was so eerie entering that place – that holy space – knowing that Frank wasn’t there to greet me.
His daughter looked in the nightstand beside his bed and found several pads – legal sized – with name after name written on them. It didn’t register at first but in looking through them I saw so many names I recognized – people who Frank had said, “I’ll pray for you.”
I was humbled to tears to see mine and my family’s names there several times. Frank’s knees were broken down due to age and had huge callouses built up on them. I realized; it was because of those pads with all those names. He meant it when he said he would pray. He spent hours on those decrepit old knees beside his bed praying.
Jesus, today, is telling us to pray for one another. He is praying for us. Jesus was there beside Frank – kneeling in prayer for all those names – each time Frank knelt in what must have been great pain.
Jesus of the Gospels was such a great model for us in what we should do. Frank was a great model of Christ in what he did. Christ was in Frank. I miss Mr. Frank Hopkins. I miss what he was to my children, and I miss what he meant to me as a young father – trying to find my way.
I’m still a father and I love my children. When someone asks me to pray for them or tells me of their difficulties – I stop right then and pray for them.
Maybe, I need to buy some legal pads and some knee pads – my knees are bad now also – and begin kneeling each night beside my bed with Jesus. I bet Frank would be there right beside me.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…