The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Praying with Miriam

A fragile woman becomes vibrant­ — for a moment

Miriam is close to 90 and lives in a nursing home in a hamlet in Maryland. Her world exists within four cinder-block walls that contain a bed, a chair and a side table.

This isn’t the actual Miriam in the
This isn’t the actual Miriam in the story — but one of many elderly women who wait and who pray.
Aside from the nurses, her only visitors are family members and me, the fellow who tended the church where she spent most of her life and raised her children.

Miriam hasn’t been to church in years. Her health is far too fragile for that. But she remains part of that little corner of the body of Christ because age and distance don’t separate her from her congregation, Lazarus Lutheran in Lineboro, Md., which I served as vicar last year. I had the privilege of visiting her every month to bring the Lord’s Supper and to serve as a living reminder of her continuing connection to her parish and to God.

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February issue


Embracing diversity