Prayer of war (coronavirus) – al.com
This opinion piece is written with our sincere apologies in the singular Mark Twain, and the story that he allowed this world to see only after he died and got out of it.
It was a time of suffering and pain, for a disease had fallen on the earth. It was a time of worry and turmoil, lest financial ruin really be a fate worse than death. This was a view shared by many, if not the dying or the dead, who had other concerns. The great factories were empty and the great cathedrals only echoed memory. Excellent chicken sandwiches were served through small holes in the windows, or none at all. All the earth afflicted.
The land was rightly grieved, for endless days that had passed before the plague, unappreciated and mundane in their day. He cried for jobs and errands, for the lost joys of lingering over casual conversation in cafes, or poetry slams, or mingling in that restaurant’s gift shop with rocking chairs on the floor. porch.
The earth has cried for a million reasons, each as important to the grieving person as the other 999,999 that may or may not have been spoken aloud. The earth mourned the dinners together and the freedom to travel and the days that passed as they always had. People longed for the simple act of gathering in these cathedrals to thank God for answered prayers.
But the ancients had banned such gatherings in the name of “safety”, “conscience” and “human lives”. There could be no hand in hand or song, no passage of Body and Blood, no communion of the faithful or of like-minded people, except on cold and flickering screens where the images of men and women. women passed for flesh and blood.
In one of these virtual congregations, the face of a minister of a gospel stood at his pulpit, praying a fervent prayer:
Thank you Jesus, our Savior and Lord, for everything you provide. We just ask a little today …
But a little turned into a little in a service where the members were in no rush to beat the denomination down the street to the cafeteria. The priest continued. He asked Jesus to allow people to go back to work, to go about their business as always. He demanded that leaders trust him and allow the freedom to ring in movie theaters and beauty salons, in bowling alleys and used car dealers, and on beaches from coast to coast. He called for businesses to open up and customers to pour in, and profits to rise like a mighty spring.
It was a powerful prayer, said in the moment, and at home, members watched it unfold in their living rooms and bedrooms – and in the case of a deacon in a bathroom. People said “Amen” and “preach”, and in that toilet it was whispered “really true”.
That’s when the screens themselves started flashing, and the pastor’s face exploded, like a bomb, and another image zoomed in. A sad, swarthy, barefoot man now stood behind the pulpit. But her eyes were shining in a way that made those in the house hold their breath.
“I have been sent by God to answer your prayer,” he said. “If that’s what you really want.”
He said God heard the pastor’s words and heard the same thoughts echoing in the hearts of the members. He told them to be careful, because prayers for oneself are often curses for others.
“I have been sent to tell you the full significance of your prayer and the unspoken words. “
He lowered his head and began to pray:
Lord our Father, we beseech you, declare our lives more worthy than those of the aged or infirm, than those which might perish so that we may return to more comfortable ways. Let them take their breath away, because we are afraid of losing our status. May they be martyrs, collateral damage in our campaign to dine at restaurants when we want, to cut and shampoo and bowls as we please. Let our grandmothers die alone, so our lives don’t have to change. Let our neighbors, uncles, aunts and even our children succumb, so that our other sons can play sports in front of the crowds.
Let’s get back to normal quickly to recover our losses, Lord, even if this plague continues. Let us feel good about it, Lord. Let our cries of “freedom” wash away our sins.
We ask for everything in love. Amen.
The mysterious figure then stopped.
“You asked for it,” he said. “If you still want it, say it. God is waiting.
They later decided that the man was probably mad. Or maybe a member of the Deep State.
Pulitzer Prize winner John Archibald is a columnist for AL.com. His column appears in The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, The Mobile Register, Birmingham Magazine and AL.com. Write to him at [email protected].