Writing this down for memory’s sake. It means something to me. Just not sure what yet. Qualities I describe here are qualities I want.

It’s 5:45 am, and my alarm is buzzing. I notice right away I don’t feel as hot and sweaty as usual. For this I am thankful. Must be due to the typhoon nearby and the rain it brought. I do nothing more than change my clothes and grab my water bottle and toothbrush before heading downstairs for early morning baby duty.

I say hi/bye to Kalyn and Adrian, who work the night shift and head into the bathroom to brush my teeth. The Home has been added onto several times, which means two bathrooms are connected by a small window. As I’m brushing my teeth, I hear Ted in the other bathroom. I can’t hear him well, but he’s quite obviously praying. I can’t hear even hear his specific words, but I can hear his tone. And I can hear that he’s crying. Literally crying out to God.

I feel guilty for listening for as long as I did. But in reality, I wasn’t listening in for his specific words. I was listening to the sincerity in his cries. And I know God was well aware of the timing of all this. I needed to hear him praying.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so sincerely concerned for the person or situation I was praying for that I was brought to tears. I’m recalling a long conversation with two friends about being more effective in prayer. The frequency of prayer v. sincerity of prayer debate. I believe in sincerity.

1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
[Psalm 61:1-3]

A little bit later, Ted comes out as I’m trying to quiet two crying babies. I notice his eyes look different — the result of crying. He asks how he can help, as I’m the only person up to look after all the babies. I say I’ll be able to manage, but I think he can hear the tiredness in my voice. He scoops up the little crying baby. And he then proceeds to use him as a “weight” for his pre-bike ride stretches. He lifts the baby high above his head. He twists around with the baby in front of him. And he chuckles at his own silliness.


5 thoughts on “Ted

  1. I praise God for Ted Skiles! He is a tremendous example to me of Godliness, generosity, humility and humor. I will forever appreciate, love and pray for Ted. I hope to see him again in this life…but, I know I will being looking him up in heaven! Thanks for this post Natalie…it brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. Stay close to God! Finish strong!! I cannot wait for us to join you for coffee in St. Louis and hear in more detail about all your experiences.

  2. Natalie, this post brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy! Such a remarkable man I am so glad you are getting to witness first hand his kind and faithful spirit. thank you for you posts Natalie!

  3. Um…love this! And is Psalm 61 NOT a major theme of “From the Ends of Earth” song by Mason Gentry?!? God is a God of convergence & desperate cries & silliness, too. BEAUTIFUL.

  4. This brought tears to my eyes also! I had the exact EXACT same experience. I thought I was reading my own journal. Thank you for sharing! Ted is one of the most amazing servants I have ever met!

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