The night was already set up to be a little weird. It was a praise night that our fellowship had set up off campus; the first of the year. Nadine was supposed to play the piano, but she got sick, so she couldn’t even attend. Gerald had just lost his voice, so he couldn’t sing that back up vocals as originally intended. Not wanting the set to fall apart, I had the brilliant idea to move from cajon to piano. This way the guitar wouldn’t sound so lonely when Shane lead worship. This allowed Gerald to take over the cajon, as he wasn’t completely incapacitated like Nadine.
The night carried on, and eventually moved into a time of prayer. As a fellowship, we were encouraged to move about the room and pray for everyone else, however you saw fit.
For the most part, everyone there was lively and happy to be there. Not Patrick, he was clearly down in the dumps. Dealing with relationship issues, he didn’t really want to be there. During the prayer time, he just sat there. He had a downcast melancholy face as he stared at the ground. His hands were folded and remained on his lap. You could tell that he didn’t want to talk to anybody.
Still, everyone in the room practically lined up to pray with him. One by one, they sat beside him, put their arm around him and tried to encourage him. After their prayer was finished, they would give him a little shake and a pat on the back and move onto someone else. He didn’t utter a single word to those that tried to talk to him.
I knew this.
When everybody was done talking to him, I waited a moment and sat myself down next to him. I didn’t say anything to Pat, nor did I touch him. I just sat there and basked in the silence with him. Five minutes passed before Pat opened his mouth to speak. He began describing to me his situation, which I’m sure no one bothered to ask about. He went on and on, pouring out his thoughts and describing his anguish.
And then Pat did something that was very uncharacteristic of him, ask for advice. Whether or not what I had to say was useful, I said what I could and what I thought was right. I must have done something right, because afterwards he asked me to pray for him. And so I did, now that I understood a tidbit of his dilemma.