It is so hard yet it’s simple part 1


It was like any other sunny Saturday. The neighborhood kids were out splashing around in a plastic swimming pool. I knew many of my neighbors but not all around the pool. Little did I know a most unusual but life changing encounter was about to take place. She was looking very much pregnant, as she reached over to introduce herself and ask me which child was mine. I pointed to my child and then asked her which one was hers. She hesitantly said, “none of them.”

“Oh really,” I said (thinking why would you be here then) but continued by saying “it looks like you have one on the way.”

In the most raw and open way Maria poured out her story in response to my question. Her first pregnancy, a year earlier, ended with a stillborn son. The baby she now carried in her womb had a serious condition called “overt congenital abnormality”. Which meant the liver, spleen, stomach, bowel and intestines were growing outside the body cavity, unprotected. Maria spoke of how the doctors had encouraged her to abort throughout the pregnancy. The baby had a 30% chance of living, and if she/he lived they would have a 50% chance of chromosomal problems and be faced with dozens of anomalies. The prognosis had not been good from day one but Maria would not give up. I stood there overcome with compassion as I listened to a neighbor I had only ever saw from a distance.

I felt her pain, her loss and her fight for the life of her child. I also felt in that moment an expectation that God was at work. Compelled by compassion I crossed that awkward bridge of conversation by asking her, “Can I pray for you?” Her Catholic background gave place for my request.

She responded by saying “Yes, please pray for me”.

Realizing she thought I was saying I would go home and kneel by my bed to pray I said, ” I mean I would like to pray over you. Would you and your husband be willing to come over to our house for dessert and let us pray for a miracle for this baby?”

She was taken aback by my statement (as was I) and said, “let me talk to my husband.”

The next day Maria and her husband agreed to my request. We spent time getting to know them, sharing some food and hearing a bit of their story. At one point in the evening I asked if I could read from the bible. I read a few passages where Jesus healed people. I said after reading, “we would like to do like Jesus did and put our hands on you and the baby and pray.” With her husband beside her she graciously invited us to pray. Maryanne placed her hand on her very pregnant tummy and I placed my hand on Maryanne’s. .

After we finished praying we certainly felt connected to them and believed God was doing something. As they went to leave they thanked us. Maria turned to me and said , “Do you know why I said yes to this tonight?”.

I replied “no, why?”

She said, “We were so desperate and the other day when we met I saw compassion in your eyes and that was enough for me.”

Read part 2 for the rest of the story….

Todd Rutkowski

~ by blueporch on July 31, 2010.

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