I’m running short on time and thought I’d re-post this small piece that was published in The Sun.
The ‘Readers Write’ section is a space devoted to writing from various subscribers based on a one word prompt from the magazine.
Topics range from A to Z with many in betweens.
This was my spin on the prompt “Grace”…
It’s a Sunday morning and I’m kneeling in the Church of the North American Martyrs, a house of worship I’ve gone to for the past 20 years.
It’s always the same old prayers, same old pew, same old church, the same old me.
My wife and at least one or two of my three daughters are next to me (one is always an altar server these days).
From the outside, I appear to be in a state of deep prayer, and maybe I am.
I’m usually praying for two parents that are steadily approaching the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, praying desperately for money that I can never seem to make enough of, praying for people that I don’t even know, maybe selfishly praying for myself – but sometimes I am just praying.
It seems fruitless and shallow some Sundays, but I do it anyway hoping that in some small and insignificant way my life will spontaneously be easier to bear.
The crosses I carry in life are there, so I’m told, for reasons unseen and I usually pray to Mary for the strength and vision needed to make sense out of my life, maybe to just do good.
With my daughters growing older and away from me, to my own health (physical and mental), to the mortgage payment that’s habitually late, to a wife that’s never gotten what she truly deserves, it’s on Sunday mornings that I kneel and pray for some divine intervention to make sense of it all, to make everything in my life suddenly understandable.
I’m reminded of a recent incident in Colchester, Ct., where a propane leak inside of a church ignited and blew it quite literally to pieces.
Nothing was left save for a statue of the Virgin Mary, standing virtually untouched and unblemished – a visible prayer, my rock.
I sometimes see the wreckage of my own life strewn about me, the shattered and lost minds of my sick parents, promises broken, missed soccer games, unspoken ‘I love you’s’, and I pray for the wisdom and grace to still be standing amidst my own ruins, like the solitary statue of Mary.
© michaelm 2005