We were four young ladies who met regularly and talked on the phone. We talked at 6AM to intercede for others. We also read Bible verses and discussed what they might mean in our lives. This was my accountability group.
We also held each other accountable for the life we were trying to live. I do need to say, “With a mission and a group like this, there had to be much trust, much love and above all much faith.”
We stayed on the phone 30 – 45 minutes but our face-to-face gatherings were somewhat longer. We had fun too. Only Judy knew all of us prior to our coming together, but we soon were trusting each other and off and running.
I will never forget when someone brought a scripture that said basically “God hits the target even with a crooked arrow”. Think about what that may mean for you. For me, it was profound! When have you felt like a crooked arrow?
I also remember when Judy said we might have to break up and each one of us would go off and start another group. I thought to myself, “She may leave, but I’m staying here”. Well, I was the first to leave the group when my family left Cincinnati.
It was a wonderful group and we still keep in touch. I know we made a difference in each others’ lives and in the lives of others. To land on our prayer list, you did not have to be a Christian or of any particular faith or even have a faith. We prayed for teachers, husbands, wives, government officials, people we met in the store who told us of someone in need, etc. We prayed for anyone who any of us mentioned or walked past.
I am not sure why writing about this group came to mind, maybe it was the movie “Girls Trip” or seeing Judy display one of the quilts she made. Regardless, I am glad for the remembrance.
The accountability group was not so much about us. Although we kept each other in prayer, we focused on intercessory prayer for others. The pictures above are of a quilt Judy made with the help of others who contributed verses, thoughts and prayers for my recovery. Thirteen years after I left Cincinnati, she drove from Cincinnati to a conference I was attending in Chicago to hand deliver it to me. (So precious, she didn’t want to risk it getting lost in the mail!)
The quilt was a reminder (after my first or second bout with cancer) of the faith, hope, and love of the members of our Union Baptist Church family in Cincinnati.
I often wrap myself in the quilt as I pray in the morning. I need to use it more because there is a lot of love and strength there. Now, it is not like those prayer cloths or water talked about on TV. It has no magical powers, it has (as with almost anything) only the power you give it.
My spiritual walk has been surrounded by people who have had an effect on my life. From my mother and father to relatives, friends, acquaintances and people I don’t even know.
That quilt reminds me that my strength lies not in me, but in God in me. Thank you, Judy Clark Middleton and Union Baptist Church for all y’all did and continue to do for our family. You mean so much to me!
There are other quilts that also embody the love others have for me. The quilting ministry of Friendship Baptist Church gave a quilt to each of us in the CROSS (Cancer survivors Reaching out Offering Sisterly Support) ministry group. It was a blessing to each of us as we were going through our cancer experience.
I was most thankful for the love that went into the making of these time-consuming gifts of comfort. I appreciated its comfort each time I wrapped my hands and/or feet up in the quilt. (Sometimes they just never seem to warm up.) Putting the quilt around my shoulders allowed me to feel what Harlow called “contact comfort”.
*putting my professor hat back on for a bit* You know, Harry Harlow, created these surrogate (inanimate) baby monkey mothers. He had them ‘care for’ the baby monkeys. One was covered with cloth and had food available, while the other was wire and also had food available. I guess you know which one the baby monkeys selected. I’m sure human babies would choose a “soft, comfortable, warm” mother too!
What gives you comfort? It is probably a number of things. This is just the one I chose to talk about today. How are you also being a comfort to others?
Song above – Somebody Prayer for Me
sung by Dorothy Norwood