In the past several days, I’ve watched most of the Harry Potter movies. Partly because of all the hubbub surrounding the most recent release, and partly because that’s what I do when left to my own devices.

Without deadlines looming and discipline enforced, I essentially turn into my cat, who seems to find no problem with lying on the same pillow for 22 hours straight. Particularly when I’m worried, anxious or otherwise distressed, I tend to lounge and laze, reading romance novels, watching Will & Grace marathons and neglecting basic hygiene (i.e. showering before dinnertime).

While watching the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I couldn’t help but be struck once again by these words:

“If I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else.
Because if it’s just you alone you’re not as much of a threat.”


Last week I was scared. Something was going on in my family, and while I didn’t know what it was yet, I was certain it was bad. Layered just underneath a persistent feeling of dread was the fact that I detest anticipation and much as I say I’d like to be on the receiving end of a surprise party, I really am not fond of surprises in general.

My circumstances required that I simply wait and see. In addition to my lack of interest in all things unexpected, I also have failed to acquire a good handle on patience. And if all that weren’t enough, I am a fixer. I like to fix things. And even before news was announced and bombshells were dropped, I recognized that this situation was one I could not, in the slightest, fix.

It didn’t take long for me to get wrapped up in a big ball of crazy.

So I did the only thing I knew to do: I called for help.

With a few clicks of the computer keys, I had asked several friends to pray. They didn’t ask for details, they didn’t question my anxiety, they didn’t hesitate to reply.

Of course I’ll pray.
Yes, whatever we can do.
I’m lifting up your family right now.

As the next hours both flew and crawled, there were moments when I barely kept the panic at bay. But every time I felt the fluttering inside me gathering strength, a thought would appear – and calm me.

I thought, “I’ve rallied my troops.”

Maybe it’s my need to take action, to fix, to help. Perhaps it’s lingering strains of “Onward, Christian Soldiers” floating through my memory. But knowing that my people were praying on my behalf was an immense comfort and relief.

And when the time came for resolution, I was thankful all over again. I’m not saying I felt any supernatural hugs or anything. But the way my situation played out, in the moment, in my heart, was different because of those prayers. I believe that. And I’m so grateful for that.

Do you have troops you can rally? In times of crisis, who do you call on for help?

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