Many years ago, when my Mother and I were involved in a bad car accident, we got to experience what I still think of as a unique expression of encouragement.
My Mum was hospitalized for some weeks, while I was allowed to return home to recuperate. We were involved in a music production with our church at the time and in the middle of rehearsals and final preparations for the shows.
The day after the accident, at their rehearsal, everyone was told what had happened and then asked to write on two pieces of paper, one message for Mum and one for me. The papers filled with messages of love and support were made into a paper chain each, then delivered to us.
The chains were large – the hospital was not too impressed with Mum’s, but they put it up over the frame that held her leg in traction. Mine was draped around my room where I could see it.
Reading the messages was quite a challenge, you had to slide the paper links around, to read between the chain links, carefully so you didn’t tear them, and most had messages on both sides of the paper.
The messages were varied. Some from young children, some from people who knew us only as fellow singers, and some from people who had known our family very well. They were written, in some cases, in a sense of shock, as people had found out on arrival that afternoon. There were things that made us laugh, pictures, bible verses, assurances of prayer and offers of help.
I remember being overwhelmed that people cared that much. It meant so much to see that chain, reminding me of the chain of people involved in praying for us. I knew people would be praying, but it was a visual reminder for me, especially during the difficult days.
When I took down my chain and gently pulled each piece apart, I read again each message and thanked God for the people who made the effort that afternoon to brighten my day.
That may not be most people’s definition of a Prayer Chain – but I will always think of it as that. I still have those pieces of paper. They remind me of the power of encouragement and how good it felt to know that I had a chain of people praying for me.
About the Author
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful for the difference God makes in her life as she lives with chronic pain and the encouragement of friends. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, travel and photography. You can contact her in the Sunroom.