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A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer by Roberta C. Bondi

By Roberta C. Bondi

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Then she couldn't put it off any longer. "Roberta," she said, apologetically. " I interrupted. " I asked, stupidly. "Yes, I am," she replied. "I went in to the doctor on Friday to have a couple of lumps checked out in my breast. They did a biopsy Friday afternoon. " Past that point, there was not much she was emotionally able to tell me. Somehow, I got through the rest of the conversation and went on to my teaching. The next few days were terrible. For Melissa they were frantically busy, devoted as they were to tests, innumerable trips to doctors, a visit to the hospital to put in the shunt for chemotherapy, telling her grown children, making arrangements for help from a student, redoing her will, taking a trip out of town to visit her parents, and finally, beginning the chemotherapy.

How had I robbed David all those years ago when I could not receive with graciousness what he offered me? I also got some real help from the Gospels. " I tried to imagine being one of those women Luke mentions who went around with him and paid the bills for his ministry. "5 At the same time, I pondered Jesus' explicit teaching about asking God for things, like the parable of the man at midnight who makes his friend get up and disturb the whole household in order to give him a loaf of bread and the parable of the widow who keeps asking the unjust judge for justice until she finally wears him down.

I had not seen how the traits and feelings in myself that I had most despised, my childhood anger, my secrecy, my inability to believe what I was told, or my later inability as a woman to live the life set out for me, all had been gifts of God to my deepest self. Though they had often resulted in sin, they were not themselves sin. Like Jacob's wound, they hurt, and they left me limping afterward, but they had also been a source of strength that had both preserved my spirit in demoralizing circumstances and shaped and empowered my adult work.

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