When I was a young boy my Grandmother had to have surgery for a tumor on her brain. The only hospital equipped to do it was over 1 ½ hour’s drive away. Still, after her surgery we all climbed into our old car to head down to see her. 

When we got to the hospital I learned that to visit the patients you had to be over 12 years old, which I wasn’t. It was a safer time then so my Mom felt comfortable leaving me alone in the waiting room while the rest of them visited Nana.

After leafing through magazines for awhile I got bored and decided to walk down the hall and see what I could see. One of the first rooms I peeked in was a small chapel. At first I thought it was empty but when I looked closer I could see a lone figure in the corner on her knees praying. 

It was a young woman. Her shoulders were shaking. Tears were falling from her eyes. Her head was bent low. Her hands were clasped tightly together. Part of me felt like going over to comfort her and part of me felt like running away. Instead I just stood still and stared. 

After what seemed like a long time the woman wiped the tears from her face. She stood up straight and tall. Her face had the most peaceful smile on it. She looked like a completely different person. I snuck back out before she could see me and walked back to the waiting room puzzled by what I saw. 

It would be many years before I could fully understand its significance. In the years since then I have prayed many prayers. Some have been answered and some have not. Usually I find that the unanswered ones have kept me from going down the wrong path or becoming someone I wasn’t meant to be. 

Through all my prayers, though, I have grown stronger, wiser, kinder, more loving, and more at one with God. That is why thinking back on that moment in the hospital I am reminded that even though prayer doesn’t always change the world around us, it always changes us.

Pray a little prayer today then. Open up any closed doors in your heart and let the light of God’s love shine in. You will find yourself better for the experience. You will find a peace and happiness you cannot find on your own. You will be moved to share your love and light as well.

And isn’t that what life is all about?


Joe Mazzella lives in the mountains of West Virginia, USA with his family. He writes articles for local newspapers but derives happiness from the joy and love he shares with others.. Joe can be reached at joecool@wirefire.com