“On Bended Knees” by Reva Lachica Moore

“On Bended Knees: Her Last Prayer”
by Reva Lachica Wallace-Moore

Do you love your downtrodden neighbor?

Betty was one of the “poor people” cared for by our church. A widow in her 70’s whose only son died, she lived alone. Plagued with Schizophrenia, Betty looked at the world in a child-like way—everyone should find time for her, for she needed help. She didn’t have the ability to see anybody else’s point of view but only her own. She spent part of her day calling her church family: “Can you bring me food from Piccadilly?” “I need a ride to the doctor.” “Can you buy me a new pair of shoes for my birthday?” It seemed that Betty thought only about herself – as what some folks concluded. She enjoyed going to the Country Singing Jamboree every Saturday night. Folks from church took turns to take her there. Scared about the pranks of the neighborhood kids, she had an alarm system installed. This made her feel safe. And each time the phone rang in church during services, everyone knew it was Betty. She had called for prayer, for she didn’t feel well to go to church.

Because of her illness, Betty complained about everything: Her ride being late; about not getting anyone when she called; about my van being too high for her to get in, and other things. Some folks avoided Betty for she was a bother. Yet, a number of folks found time for her. Delores picked Betty up so she could eat at her restaurant. Charity and Delores took turns to take her to the doctor. Chuck picked her up for church. Brad checked on her almost every day. The church elder made sure all her appliances worked. Mary cleaned her house every Friday. And Betty never failed to tell those who cared for her, “I prayed for you today” with a certain sweetness on her face.

One day nobody heard from Betty. Mary went to clean her house, but Betty didn’t answer the door. Alarmed about Mary’s phone call, Elder Gene who has a key to Betty’s house went to check on her. What he saw was absolutely shocking! Betty, on bended knees and head slumped on her bed – was dead! To some people, Betty was but a burr in their shoe for she had interrupted their everyday lives many times. But God placed Betty on this earth to remind us of the “downtrodden” folks—their lives and their needs. I believe I will see Bettyin heaven someday. (Written in 2002)

Psalms 55:17 “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.”