Paul Jetter relates this account of a young man's meeting with President Bush in the Oval Office:
"On our way out of the office we were to leave by the glass doors on the west side of the office. I was the last person in the exit line. As I shook his hand one final time...I then did something that surprised even me. I said to him, 'Mr. President, I know you are a busy man and your time is precious. I also know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to ask you.' As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, 'Just name it.'(Gratia tibi, Christopher!)
"I told him that my step-Mom was at that moment in a hospital having a tumor removed from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if he would consider adding her to his prayers that day. He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, 'So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it.' From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, 'How do you spell her name?' He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer.
"When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is they can get it all with this surgery. He said, 'If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?' I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave. He said, 'Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer.'
"As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance — standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace. He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months.
"I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our President. I thanked him as best I could and told him that me and my family would continue praying for he and his....He has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day — and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart. He took time out of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing for my family..."