I picked up my son Andy’s deer from Ptacek’s IGA supermarket in Prescott, Wis. today. I was on my way back to the office after interviewing the newly-elected mayor of Hampton, Paye Flomo, a native of Liberia who’s also Catholic.
After picking up the processed venison, which included several packages of maple sticks, I went on an important errand to a destination just a few blocks from the IGA. I paid a visit to the landowners who generously gave permission for Andy and I to hunt on their land.
After pulling into the driveway of Leonard and Judy Beskar, I rang their doorbell with a package of maple sticks in hand. Leonard answered the door and I was able to offer him a small token of appreciation for letting us hunt.
Then, a short while later, I was able to give him something even more important — prayers. Leonard has suffered a variety of health problems over the last two decades and he currently is having lots of trouble with his lungs. In fact, he was hooked up to an oxygen machine when he answered the door.
I have felt a special prayer burden for Leonard over the years and our family prays for him daily at the dinner table. I also pray for him on my own and offer up prayers during my weekly hour of eucharistic adoration. On this day, I felt a special calling to pray for him, and that led me to his doorstep in Prescott.
As I laid my hand on him to pray, I thought about today’s Gospel reading from Luke, in which the blind beggar cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” He refused to be silent until Jesus came over to talk to him. Then, he simply asked for his sight.
Sometimes, we make prayer too complicated. All God wants, I think, is for us to come to him simply and ask for his help and his healing. Then, when the prayer is finished, just trust in him.
Seeing Leonard’s face renewed my desire to continue to pray for him. I was glad to have the chance to pray with him and to tell Leonard and Judy about the thrill of being with Andy when he harvested his first deer. Most, if not all, hunters, always will remember their first deer. I know it was a thrill for Andy and it is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
May God grant Leonard healing and encouragement as he continues to battle health problems.