“Please keep my Grandma in your prayers.”
I glanced at him as we walked toward the Liberal Arts building where we would go our separate ways. “Of course. Pray for my cat too. I don’t want to put him down, but I think I have to.”
His brow wrinkled. “My Grandma is dying and you want me to pray for your cat?”
Before I could reply, he stomped off to his last class of the day.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. Yes, I want you to pray for my cat. I love him.
Later that evening he called. “I’m sorry for earlier. I shouldn’t have said that. Your cat is important to you, just like my Grandma is important to me. I will be praying."
“Thanks, but you don’t need to apologize. My problem isn’t as big as yours.”
“Crisis is relative. We both are hurting and need prayers. I was wrong to disregard your pain and your request. Of course I will pray for your cat.”
“You’ve taken too many psych classes. You sound like your professors.” I joked.
He laughed, “My professors have never offered to pray for me…but you’re my sister-in-Christ, so I’ll pray for your cat…are we good?”
“Yeah, we’re good.”
YEARS later that conversation plays through my head as I listen to my friend rant about the injustice she’s facing.
I want to yell at her, “my grandma is dying and you want me to pray for your cat!”
But I don’t.
Crisis is relative.
My world may feel like it’s crashing in and I don't have time for anyone else, but my sister-in-Christ needs prayers. She needs support.
She does NOT need me to tell her to suck it up.
She does not need me to tell her I am facing real problems and hers are minuscule.
As Christians we are called to bear each others burdens (Gal 6:2).
I may not think she is facing a crisis, but she genuinely does. Therefore, I will take time to listen to her. I will pray for her. I will point her to Scripture that will encourage her. I will love her as I am loved by God--completely and generously.
I hope the next time you want to scream at someone, “my grandma is dying and you want me to pray for your cat” you can remember “crisis is relative”.
Be there for someone and try to hold back the judgments. Who knows, next time it could be you needing support for a “relative crisis”.