Prayers may be waiting on Line 1

By Tammy Keith Originally Published April 7, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated April 5, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
0 Comments A A Font Size

A phone call can bring a lot of things.

We wait for phone calls to hear good news — “She had the baby!” — or bad — “Yes, it looks like cancer.”

It’s the way the oil-spill crisis in Mayflower started, with a call to 911.

Then the mayor got a call from his police chief: “Boy, we’ve got a problem.”

Those aren’t words anyone ever wants to hear.

Most of us with cellphones know who’s calling before we answer — so sometimes, we don’t.

I don’t know how many times I’ve called somewhere from my work phone, and no one answers. Then I use my personal phone, and amazingly, the person picks up.

In the old days as a reporter, there was no such thing as Caller ID. We picked up that big, clunky handset and never knew who was going to be on the other end — a reader with a wild story of conspiracy that he thought we should chase down, or a mad subscriber about a story he didn’t agree with. Or, sometimes it’s a person with a great story lead that we would never have known about otherwise. I love those.

I have caller ID on my phone here at work, but it’s honestly so hard to see that I don’t use it. I just answer, and I never know who is going to be at the other end. Sometimes it’s a recording about a trip somewhere, and I slam the phone down. If I’m on deadline, sometimes I let the phone ring and listen to my message later.

The other day, I was knee-deep in oil-spill stories, and my phone rang. I grabbed it and probably sounded stressed.

It was a woman, a senior citizen, who is a regular reader of our statewide paper — front to back, she said — and my column. She reminded me that she’d called me a few years ago when our beloved 12-year-old dog, Panda, had gone missing. I remembered that after she told me.

She said nice things about my columns, and what she said next really blew me away: “I pray for you.”

I’ve never met this woman. Wow.

I thanked her and said I need all the prayers I can get.

She told me that her husband died a couple of years ago, and there were things she didn’t get a chance to say. She promised herself, she told me, that when she had something good to say to someone, she was going to tell them.

What a great lesson for all of us.

My day changed after that. My stress level went down. That night, when I was searching for information and hitting a brick wall, I thought of her.

She was praying for me, and that had to be helping. I said a little prayer and stopped worrying, and the next phone call I made, the person answered and gave me the information I needed.

I didn’t even know the woman’s name, but I thought to ask at the end of the conversation.

It’s Mary (appropriate, I thought).

I’ll probably hear from her again, and that’s a phone call I’ll be happy to answer.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.