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PRAY: Waiting on His Answer

Most of us don’t like to wait. We live in a day of instant everything. If we can’t have it right away, we figure out how to have it virtually. Can’t spend an evening with friends? Enter Skype or FaceTime. Can’t make the high school reunion? Create a Facebook group and catch up the new-fashioned way. Growing up near Cincinnati, Ohio, I watched as my next-door neighbors waited on the answer to a passel of prayers. Jim and Sharon Eyrich had adopted their son, Jamie, as a newborn.  Sharon was tall, glamorous, and (best of all in my pre-teen eyes) the owner of a beautiful quarter horse, Hickory.  When the Eyrichs adopted Jamie, I fell in love. I spent hours with Sharon and the baby I deemed “the cutest in the world.” Before long, I had the privilege of watching him while she did house- or yard-work. Soon, I graduated to true babysitting. But something was wrong, and Jamie’s mother knew it. Sometime after his first birthday, her son was diagnosed with congenital hearing loss. I remember Sharon repeating the doctor’s words: the little boy was so smart he fooled everyone except his mother into believing he could hear. Jamie’s diagnosis initiated a long season of prayer. Sharon didn’t know it, but as she waited on God to heal her son, she showed me the power of true faith. But Jim and Sharon did more than wait. They pursued any treatment they thought would help their little boy. By the time he was three, they made a big decision: Jim would change jobs so the family could move to St. Louis and a school that would best meet their son’s needs.  By this time, Jamie and I were so close that he cried whenever I left to go home. And I still looked up to Sharon, whose faith moved me to examine my own. Jim moved first. Before Sharon and Jamie could follow, she had to transport Hickory, and asked me to go along. I loved every moment, from dining at Steak ‘n Shake for the first time ever, to caring for a very active Jamie, to helping settle Hickory into his new digs. You can guess the next part of the story. Sharon and Jamie joined Jim in St. Louis. Years passed. I went to college. Married. Moved. And lost touch. For a while, my parents received the Eyrichs’ Christmas cards. I knew they adopted another baby—this time, a little girl. But before long, I had no contact. I prayed for my special friend on his birthday each year and wondered what kind of man he became. I wondered about those prayers for healing, too. One day, his name...

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