Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
This evening my phone rang. My dad called. His first words were that he was in a "whole heap of trouble".
It took him nearly a full 45 seconds to finish the sentence.
I'm pretty sure my heart didn't beat for the full 45 seconds.
He'd hidden the car keys from her, but didn't expect her to rummage through his pick up truck getting the truck keys.
She'd gotten in the truck and left.
She's stage 5/6-ish of Alzheimers.
She was gone, and he didn't know where she'd went.
As he explained that she'd been having a really bad day, telling him she couldn't stay in the house with a man (she doesn't understand he's her husband) all I could think about was: 5 hours.
It would take me 5 hours to get there.
It was too painfully far away.
In those following minutes as he told me what happened all I could say was "Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God." There weren't any other words for it. There was no eloquence, nothing. Just the knowledge that He knew the need and all I had to do was climb to His feet and hang my hopes there.
Thankfully, God answered the prayer and she turned around and returned home. My brother and I spent the next 30 minutes telling her that we had hired that man to be there to take care of her and we needed her to stay with him. It got more complicated as she informed us she didn't feel comfortable staying with her ex. (She's bent on the delusion that he left her years ago and just wandered back into the house expecting to live there.)
I could tell you the emotions that run through a person during moments like that, but I'm learning to be strong during these moments now so I did better this time than I would have a year ago.
But afterwards, after we convinced her to stay, after talking to my dad, after spending 2 hours finishing up a vicious game of Star Wars Monopoly with my nephew completely wiping me out, I was able to think past the event to something far greater.
Groanings that cannot be uttered.
When my heart is in such agony that I cannot find the words to say, when my being is so intense on the outcome that I need in a situation, that is when my prayers change to something unintelligible.
And that is what the Holy Spirit does for me. He interceeds for me with groanings that cannot be uttered.
I see it as human and emotional to be so deeply involved in my prayers that I'm unable to form the words, that only an urgent, gut wrenching groan can make it to the surface. Yet, this is how the Holy Spirit interceeds for me.
It was a vivid, though painful reminder of Gods love for me and you.
Oh how He loves us.
All that isn't to say that I wouldn't give anything not to have this lesson. To not learn of Gods love this way. There isn't anything I wouldn't give to have her be ok.
But my God is the such that even in the worst, most sickening moments of my life, He can show me something extraordinary to give me comfort. The same Holy Spirit that interceeds for me so earnestly, interceeds for my mother as well, and for all those people I've scrawled on my little prayer list.