Note to the reader: This blog has been revised since its initial release of September 2015 to reflect Klaus’ passing in March 2019.
For many weeks now, I have been holding a prayer gathering at my house on Friday afternoons. The Lord laid it upon my heart to begin them when I learned of a good friend of mine had cancer. Sometimes I have guests, fellow prayer warriors, and sometimes it’s just me and my cats, Raleigh and Georgia.
Here is just one invitation I have sent out with a few edits. I always like to quote or close with scripture to give people a reference point to begin their meditations. I think this email captures the spirit of the gathering, and so I share it with you:
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Thus far I have hosted three prayer meetings in my house…we have sent a wealth of prayers heavenward in support of our friends Dana and Brenda, as well as many others, our nation and the world as a whole. (Even a few cats.) The Lord hears our prayers, as Dana is doing much better.
I realize that not everyone can make it, as some of you live in faraway places. I earnestly hope that you will start a prayer group of your own wherever you call home. Many opine that nothing can be done to change the world in which we live as we confront manifest evil in the hearts of our leaders, watch the persecution of Christians and Jews begin anew, as we see the darkness descending, enveloping us. I disagree. Change begins with you, your heart, your friends’ hearts and those of your leaders. Change begins here and now in every prayer and supplication, in every faithful gathering.
Remember Christ was only one person. His message simple, yet profound. He gave his life on the cross for you—through believing—you would have eternal life. His sacrifice changed the world.
Blessings to all,
I leave you with King James Version, Ephesians 6:12-18:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….
As I have repeatedly told my fellow prayer warriors, my dream is to spawn millions of little gatherings throughout the United States. Despite the fact that attendance at mine has been sporadic, I will not give up. In the words of my friend Klaus, who has struggled with health issues, “You must never give up!” He told me that the morning of the day after Barrack Obama was re-elected. Looking out into the ocean at an orange November sunrise, I was devastated by that news.
Klaus ought to know about perseverance and endurance. He and his wife Monika survived both Nazi and Communist Germany. When they could do so safely, they traveled here to the United States to work and to raise a fine family. Among other marvels, he invented the detection device which enabled the u2 spy plane to see the missiles in Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. When we talked about his faith in God, Klaus said, “I have always had [faith in God.]” When I remarked that I found his faith curious since he, as a materials scientist, had peered through the lens of an electron microscope at the very elements of matter, he gazed out into the ocean, describing how at one time mankind thought the horizon was the end of the known world. Due to advancing Alzheimer’s disease, he struggled with his words, but that is essentially what he said. It was one of those profound moments–one when you finish each other’s thoughts, when you comprehend the unspoken. During that time, we walked together. We enjoyed many such mornings, a whole years’ worth. I remember one cool morning vividly when we walked the many wynds of our island, gently picking up blackened geckos that had been stunned by a quick frost. I’ll bet we saved 50, if we didn’t save 100, tenderly picking them up one by one, careful not to break off their tails, as Klaus instructed me. We then carefully deposited each one under a bush, or under some leaves, so that it could thaw out and burrow if needed.
I have never asked him what drove him–intuitively knowing the answer. My observation: Klaus never stopped to ask himself if he was good enough, if he could accomplish something, if he knew how to do something, he just donned the “whole armour of God” and walked onward, reasoned, overcoming every obstacle and foe. Monika told me that he survived internment in a concentration camp, a miracle in and of itself. For all his brilliance, he was an amazingly modest man, rich in humility and slow to anger.
I always marveled at the fact that intellectually he dwarfed me, yet there we were in rapt conversation every morning. I never had the feeling that he was bored by our discussions, quite the contrary. What stands out in all our interactions, is that he was there for me and I for him, notably after my major back surgery and during his continuing battle with Alzheimer’s, a time when neither one of us had anyone with whom to walk. I recall daily assisting him in finishing his sentences–struggling to get at the meat of what he was trying to articulate– and his encouraging me and helping me up off deep sand at the beach when I stumbled. Curiously, in his later years my dad wore a Mickey Mouse watch of which he was oddly proud. He would delightedly show it off to anyone who inquired. Imagine my surprise when I noticed Klaus sported one too. For his kind heart, I shall never forget Klaus.
Rest in peace Klaus, my great friend!
(Photo credit at top of page: Plane: KPG_Payless/Shutterstock)