So what does it mean when your mountains don’t move? When you pray the “prayer of faith” but there is no splash at the end to indicate that God was listening?
What does it mean when those same prayers from other lips get answered? When their “miracle” request is granted and yours gets filed in the trash bin of heaven?
I find myself tempted to believe I didn’t do something right, didn’t pray the right words, didn’t have the right heart. As if God is a temperamental vending machine and I didn’t hit the right button with the appropriate force. I find myself wallowing in believing that if I was somehow good enough then my prayers would be answered, my life would be made lovely and easy. As if those whose lives are a daily struggle for survival somehow did something to deserve their condition.
So maybe it’s good my mountains didn’t move, my personal “miracles” wasn’t granted. Maybe if they had I would believe in the own specialness of my American self. Maybe I would somehow think that the privileges that come from being born in a wealthy country where opportunities abound somehow said something about my goodness as a person, my deservedness as a human.
Maybe if my mountains had moved I wouldn’t think every day about those around the world whose mountains are so much bigger than mine. Whose unanswered prayers cost them so much more than mine ever will. While I pray for paperwork to come in quickly so my son can come home to me others are praying to not die in childbirth and leave their child motherless. While I cry over months apart from these children I love, others are crying for the food to keep their children alive. While I wonder why my life has to be tainted by chronic illness others watch their loved ones die from preventable diseases, all because they lack the money for treatment.
Maybe if my mountains had moved I wouldn’t feel compelled to give to others, to do what I can to help their own mountains move, maybe I would have been content to sit and stare at the gap in the horizon and be pleased with my own personal faith and my own personal happiness. Maybe I would have believed in my own specialness at the cost of forgetting others.
My mountain didn’t move. But my heart has.