This true story is from Woman’s Day Magazine. When Karen and her husband Tom found out they were going to have another baby, they wanted to prepare their three-year-old son Michael to be ready for a new sister. So, every night they would gather Michael in their arms. And Michael would sing to his unborn sister, he sings the only song he knows, “You are my sunshine.”
He sings it day and night. When the time comes for the birth, complications arise. When Michael’s little sister is born, she is in serious condition and an ambulance rushes the infant to a special neonatal intensive care unit. The days pass and the little baby girl gets worse. Karen and her husband storm heaven with prayers.
The pediatric specialist tells the parents that there is very little hope. Little Michael keeps begging his parents to let him visit his sister. I want to sing to her, he keeps nagging his parents. You must take me to see her. But, children were not allowed in the ICU. Finally, Karen cannot take his persistent nagging, so she takes him to the hospital. She figures that if he does not see his sister now, he may never see her alive.
So, she dresses Michael in a scrub suit and goes into the ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket. The head nurse says, “No children allowed he cannot come in.” Karen picks Michael up and pushes past the head nurse. She says, “He is not leaving until he sees his sister.” Michael is silent as he gazes at his tiny sister; he has never seen anyone so small.
She is losing the battle to live. He begins to sing in the pure-hearted voice of a three-year-old. Michael sings “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; you make me happy when skies are gray.” After a while, the baby girl responds, her pulse rate becomes calm and steady. “Keep on singing Michael,” “You never know dear how much I love you…..please don’t take my sunshine away.”
The baby’s breathing becomes as smooth as a kittens purr, “keep on singing Michael.” “The other night dear as I lay sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms.” Michael’s little sister relaxes, healing seems to sweep her over. “Keep on singing Michael,” “Please don’t take my sunshine away.” The head nurse, with tears streaming down her face, checks the dials and the machines surrounding the baby.
She cannot believe the positive readings, they do not make sense. The doctors are called in. Funeral plans are scraped and within two days, the little baby girl is well enough to go home. The press called it, the miracle of a brother’s song. Karen called it a miracle of God’s love. The hospital just called it a miracle, and could not offer any explanation. So why do I tell you this story? Well, remember the gospel?
This is a parable about praying always and never giving up. It is important to recognize that those are two interrelated ideas; to be constantly mindful of our relationship with God and to persist in faith. As the other song goes, “You can’t have one without the other.” In the gospel we have a vulnerable widow; a woman without a husband, without status, without income or security.
She has no hope for justice. Her cause is hopeless, but like little Michael her persistence triumphs. So often we forget what we read in scripture Luke 11:5-13, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For anyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” All it takes is persistent prayer which builds us up. We can count on God to hear us when we pray, to be there when we are suffering. God never gives up on us. And persistent prayer is evidence of our faith. Our never giving up on God.
Whatever your experience with prayer, with the prayer of petition, God still wants you to hang in there and never forget that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue. After you have prayed, be still and listen because God wants to talk to you. Remember, that God will not always give you what you want, but He will give you what you need.