Nothing stirs my soul like a visual. Today I saw a picture of a man who is recovering. I’ve prayed for him and his family, but I have never met him. His daughter is a cherished friend of my Kelli. I’ll call her Jay.

Jay came into Kelli’s life when I was hoping my daughter would make true, lifelong friends. When we are young, it seems easy to find individuals who want to spend time with us, but often they want to compete, to backstab, and don’t understand “true-blue.” But Jay is loyal, and I am thankful for her.

Jay’s father has been gravely ill, unable to speak. If you have had a cranial nerve disorder like trigeminal or glossopharyngeal neuralgia, you know what that is like. A picture today shows him in his hospital bed, holding a sign thanking people for their prayers.

When I saw it, I did what many rehab counselors would do. I cried.

How many lap-size whiteboards have I used? More important, how many hands have I held? I cannot count them, those hands that reached for mine when I could not talk, breathe, open my eyes swallow, chew, or brush my teeth. Being unable to breathe would last but a moment, but the other symptoms of the cranial nerve disorders persisted.

Whiteboards, legal pads, faxes, texts, and emails: at times I have been able to communicate only with those. But like Jay’s dad, I recovered. Prayers, hands that touched mine only through a spiritual dimension, helped me through.

When someone asks for prayers, let’s really say them. God bless you and your family, Jay. Love is stronger than pain.