Not Too Far From Here

Not Too Far From Here ~ An Answered Prayer

Many years ago I had a favorite song called “Not Too Far From Here,” sung by Kim Boyce. I had her cassette tape and listened to it over and over, singing along, of course.  The beautiful lyrics touched my heart, and I couldn’t listen to it without becoming misty-eyed. It became a heartfelt prayer.

With permission from its writer, Steve Siler, I want to share the lyrics with you before continuing my story:

Not Too Far From Here

Somebody’s down to their last dime,
Somebody’s running out of time,
Not too far from here
Somebody’s got nowhere else to go
Somebody needs a little hope
Not too far from here
And I may not know their name
But I’m praying just the same
That You’ll use me Lord to wipe away a tear
‘Cause somebody’s crying
Not too far from here
Somebody’s troubled and confused
Somebody’s got nothing left to lose
Not too far from here
Somebody’s forgotten how to trust
Somebody’s dying for love
Not too far from here
It may be a stranger’s face
But I’m praying for Your grace
To move in me and take away the fear
‘Cause somebody’s hurting
Not too far from here
Help me, Lord, not to turn away from pain
Help me not to rest while those around me weep
Give me Your strength and compassion
When somebody finds the road of life too steep
Now, I’m letting down my guard and I’m opening my heart
Help me speak your love to every needful ear
Jesus is waiting
Not too far from here
Oh, Jesus is waiting
Not too far from here

A Tragedy

Almost exactly 12 years ago, while I was living in Rockport, Texas, there was a tragic accident. I vividly remember reading the article below the large photo on the front of our small town’s newspaper. It was Memorial weekend and a family was coming to Rockport on vacation. Just as they were about to cross the bridge into town, they were hit by a drunk driver. The article gave a lot of detail: It was a family of four, just like mine. They were driving a Ford Expedition just like mine. Their daughter was a year younger than mine (almost exactly) and was seated behind the driver’s seat where mine normally sat. Their son was the same age as mine and sat in the center of the third row where mine normally sat. These similarities made it easy for me to put myself into this mother’s shoes and imagine myself in her place. The article went on to say that the father and daughter had been taken to a hospital in Aransas Pass where the daughter later died, and that the mother and son were taken to a hospital in Corpus Christi where their son was in ICU with internal injuries. These things happened not too far from our home.

God-incidence?

It just so happened that my son was scheduled to take a standardized test the next morning at a church not too far from the hospital in Corpus Christi. I couldn’t help but imagine what the mother must have been going through, being separated from her husband and daughter at the moment that they lost her, and I didn’t think that she would have family or friends with her since they didn’t live in the area. I felt like God was nudging me to go see her. Even though it was way out of my comfort zone, I made some brownies and gathered a few magazines to take to her the next morning. My five-year-old daughter drew a picture to give her.

Acting in Faith

After dropping my son off at the testing site, I took my daughter and went to the hospital. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot imagining a variety of scenarios and summoning my courage. How would she respond to a perfect stranger bothering her at a time like this? Would the hospital even let me try? What would I say? I went up to ICU and when a nurse asked if she could help me, I did my best to explain why I was there. The nurse went to tell the mother while Margaret and I found seats and waited.

“You Must Be a Christian”

When the mother walked through the doors and approached me I felt so awkward. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but something to the effect that I was from Rockport and that I had read about her family’s accident in the newspaper and that I just wanted her to know that I cared. I remember exactly what she said to me. She said, “you must be a Christian.” I don’t think there is a more wonderful thing that could have been said to me. We embraced and cried together. We sat down and I gave her the things that we had brought. After talking a little while longer, Margaret and I excused ourselves and left. The mother and I kept in touch for quite awhile after that. About a year later when she became pregnant, she shared her joyful news with me and even sent me an ultrasound picture.

Answered Prayer

Years later I was reminiscing about that turn of events – I had tried to comfort someone else, but it blessed me. It was then that I remembered the lyrics to that song. While singing along I had prayed that God might use me, and that I wouldn’t shy away from such an opportunity. He revealed to me that He had answered my prayer, and that it had all literally happened not too far from there.

You can read more about this beautiful and moving song in Music For The Soul, Healing For The Heart, written by Steve Siler.  I gratefully thank Mr. Siler for giving me permission to include his lyrics in my story.  It wouldn’t be the same without them.

Listen to Kim Boyce’s beautiful presentation of Not Too Far From Here.

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Not Too Far From Here

10 thoughts on “Not Too Far From Here ~ An Answered Prayer”

  1. Sometimes it is so hard to be obedient to what you know God is telling you to do when it is so far out of our comfort zone. I am so glad you did as you were led to do! What a great blessing both ways Michelle!
    Enjoyed reading your story! Thanks!

  2. This is such a wonderful story and I have always loved that song. Thank you so much for sharing!

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