Have you ever bartered with God? Abraham did in the First Reading from Genesis 18, read this past Sunday. He does not ask for a deal for himself though, but for the other righteous people left in Sodom. He bargains for first 50 folks and then by the end of the dialogue, the town is saved for the sake of just 10 good people.
Cancer creates a need for bartering. I have been there both for myself and for others. My prayer for myself is a constant slow down the growth/spread so that I may finish certain tasks and spend quality time with loved ones. Keep me pain-free for a while longer. A friend recently confessed that her sister who had cancer too was jealous of me because I seemed to have no pain while she suffered greatly. This may not always be true – I am beginning to have some discomfort at certain times – but I will take each day that I am drug-free with much gratitude. My loved ones worry about the pain that I might experience.
So much of that resounding tick tock goes the clock mocks me because I sense I’m running out of time – time where my brain is still somewhat clear, my spirit peaceful, and my energy sufficient. I could ask God for so much and even in Sunday’s Gospel I realize that persistence is necessary. Luke 11:1–13 has often appeared to me in times of trouble. I learned early on that “the ask” needs to be in accordance with God’s will, not mine, that the greater good must be sought, not selfish wishes. This Gospel helps me to know that I need to think carefully about what I am asking and why, and so does the First Reading. We can barter with God if we are humble and wise. Psalm 138 tells us that the Lord regards the lowly, that when we walk in the midst of trouble, God preserves us. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me so maybe bartering is not always necessary, but it never hurts to ask.
Have you ever bartered with God?
Do you believe God will listen if you ask?
Loving God, you know my need before I can even articulate it. Search my heart and let my words be pleasing to you. I ask in the hopes of receiving, and seek trusting that I will find, and knock, knowing you are already opening the door with a smile. Thank you. Amen.