Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Prayer

In the last post, I had a little fun with a BlogHer session titled “Is Mommyblogging Still a Radical Act?”  I found this amusing to watch the word “radical” exploited and mangled so all the air seeps out of it like a cheap balloon from the 99 cent only store.

I tend to avoid using the word “radical” unless something is RADICAL.

“Doctor, the patient is losing blood.  We’re going to have to do something RADICAL like taking off his leg so he can survive!

Radical rarely happens.  Or else it wouldn’t be RADICAL.  The French Revolution.  Radical.  Mommyblogging.  Eh.

Here’s something mildly radical.  I’m going to mention God on my blog.

If you read through my archives, you will notice that I have made fun of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  I find religion funny.  It is funny.  It deals with impossible issues.  But I’m not so cocky as to dismiss the power of God. I may make jokes about God, but I wouldn’t tell them to Him right to His face.  While I have no knowledge of His true existence, I like to believe that there is some unifying force.  It’s good to be in awe of something more than Dooce.

Nothing annoys me more than when actors thank Jesus for winning an Oscar or when a team prays to God, asking to win the pennant.  This nonsense gives religion a bad name.  If your team wins, does that mean God hates the OTHER team?

I think it is entirely appropriate to ask for God’s help in times of bad health. God created man and life, and nothing hampers our enjoyment of life more then bad health.  Who wants to smell a flower, eat an apple, or have mind-blowing sex on the carpet while listening to Barry White on the CD player when you feel like crap?

Several of my blogging friends are having health issues.  This makes me feel bad.  I know how much stress this puts on you and your family.  I remember how supportive you were when Sophia was having surgery.

May God be merciful and heal those in need.  Please bring good health to your Children, so we may fully enjoy your World.  God, your true name is RADICAL.  I cover my eyes to say your name.   Send your strength to those in need.

49 Comments

  1. “…It’s good to be in awe of something more than Dooce…”

    No truer words have ever been spoken!

  2. Great post.

    I’ve got to say — one of the things I embrace about Judaism is the emphasis on regular, structured prayer for refu’ah shlemah (complete recovery from illness) on a daily basis. I don’t consider myself to be deeply religious or spiritual, and I’m still trying to figure out my relationship with the Being upstairs — but I find it comforting to request healing through prayer.

    Thanks again…

  3. Wonderful post. Adding my prayer and a white candle.

    And adding Moreena and her beautiful Annika from Falling Down Is Also A Gift to the prayer list. http://moreena.typepad.com/

    God IS radical. Thank you God. Please heal all our friends in body and spirit.

  4. What a fantastic post! I’m adding my prayers to my undefined higher power. particularly in the direction of http://clusterfook.com

  5. Yes, so great to be in awe of something other than the things we typically are. Nice post on a lightly touched topic in the blog world.

  6. What bugs me is when people say they will send “positive thoughts” about something. I appreciate the intent, but a thought just doesn’t seem as potent as a prayer IMO.

  7. Memarie Lane — for most of us, prayer is very difficult to do. It feels awkward. I rarely pray, so I can understand those who just send positive feelings. I usually send positive vibes. We usually mean prayers, but are too scared to say so.

    Jozet — thanks for bringing the story of Annika to our attention as well.

  8. I may doubt my abilities to help people at times, but I never doubt that my prayers can help. I’ve been at both ends, being the prayer and the prayee, and the effect on all can be powerful.

  9. Neil, you always manage to be right on point. Sometimes you are funny and sometimes a bit more serious, but always awesome, and I always love you for it 🙂

  10. God, you’ve given us a great gift in the ability to connect with others from great distances. You’ve brought us together when we are not. Now hear our prayers and heal those we care about so that they can continue what we’ve begun.

    Thanks Neil.

  11. ok…maybe i should read this again but i’m pretty sure you meant to say “the patient it losing blood.” not “using blood” although that would be pretty radical.

  12. Natalie — Yes, proof that I am not God. He would not make that mistake.

  13. wait…i didn’t even mean to say what i meant to say. good grief. the patient is losing blood.

    and i agree. i think prayer works.

  14. No matter how much you pretend otherwise, you are a real mensch. A misheberach for the blogosphere is a good thing.

  15. OK. I’m going to be a little contrary once more. I think that religion has had a bad name for quite some time. Of course, I also recognize religion and faith as being two different things.

  16. Dagny — Perhaps we should save this interesting discussion for another post, but I don’t have that much faith. There is no way I could know whether God exists or not. I can still pray without truly knowing. Religion gets to be trouble when the followers have blind faith.

  17. That was nice! Thanks for putting it out there.

  18. This post was perfect in every way Neil.

  19. ” Nothing annoys me more than when actors thank Jesus for winning an Oscar or when a team prays to God, asking to win the pennant. This nonsense gives religion a bad name. If your team wins, does that mean God hate the OTHER team?”

    AMEN! Boy, do I agree!

  20. I didn’t comment at first, but I love your reply to Dagny. That’s exactly it.

  21. dag you knocked that out of the park mr. man. very well done and i’m guessing not one person is offended.

    if they are, fuck them. (not literally of course. unless you want to.)

    excellent post.

  22. Lovely post, Neil. 🙂

  23. I love this. We were discussing in my house the other day whether God would truly send to Hell anyone who called him by a different name. My take is that God would be happy to hear his name on anyone’s lips, regardless of the pronunciation.
    In other, far less serious news, I’ve tagged you for a meme: 6 random things about YOU. You’re it!
    http://rockandrollmama.com/2008/07/21/home-again-home-again-jiggety-jig/

  24. I have heard that having mind blowing sex while listening to Barry White on the CD player, can help alleviate a shitty mood. I’m going to try it as a social experiment. I’ll report back to you.

  25. I love this post. I’ll add my prayer too. (For some reason I find Jewish prayers particularly poignant. It’s a beautiful faith.)

  26. I am agnostic, which means I might believe in the power of prayer, or I might not. Ah, hell. My kids are here and healthy because someone(s) prayed and believed. Add my lapsed Catholic half-assed prayers into the mix.

  27. They call it faith for a reason. I hate that answer, but it is the best I have got.

  28. Not a different topic at all in my mind. So you question the existence of God but still pray. I say that the fact that you pray is proof of your faith. To me the idea of faith is the belief that there might be something out there that is bigger than us. It’s not something definite, just an idea. And for this kind of idea, I’d suggest that you check out “Dogma” — and pay special attention to the lines from Chris Rock’s character. And maybe Alan Rickman’s as well.

  29. I knew that I should not have erased the other part of my original comment.

    I have huge problems with situational faith. This is what I would call those who thank God in award speeches.

    I have always had huge problems with blind faith. My faith comes from a number of years of doubt and asking questions. As a result, I have come to think that if you cannot question it all, or at least accept the idea that others may question and their questioning is perfectly OK, then there may be problems with your faith.

    Then again, you might not want to ask someone who has lost a dear family member about faith and religion…

  30. My thoughts AND prayers are with those in need.

    ”Nothing annoys me more than when actors thank Jesus for winning an Oscar or when a team prays to God, asking to win the pennant. This nonsense gives religion a bad name. If your team wins, does that mean God hate the OTHER team?”

    Straight from the lips of George Carlin! He felt the same way as you. 🙂 Look up how he feels about “Proud to be Irish” HILARIOUS!

  31. oh yeah. God chuckles at our plans, heals our wounds, and laughs at our blogs.

    God is good.

  32. You may not know it, but you ARE telling God jokes to his face.

  33. All Adither — Not if I’m facing away from Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Mecca. He may be all-powerful, but His hearing is only so-so.

  34. Wow. that was really sweet. What a nice way to blog.

  35. Nice job with this post Neil.

  36. This is a sweet post Neil. I agree with you on all counts. I do have a close relationship with God though and “She”
    is a bit miffed that you keep calling her a him :-).

  37. Love this post! I found you through Linda Wood’s site. I have to read more of your stuff!

    Even worst than the actors thanking God for oscars is Gangsta Rappers thanking God. They say shit like “I F’d your momma – I’m a pimp & she’s my ho.” On and on, then they stand at the podium and say, “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior for this award.” WTF? I’m not very religious and don’t feel I am an an expert on God, HOWEVER, I don’t think God helps rappers write those songs.

    Keep up the great writing!

    Best,
    Pamela

  38. My beliefs waffle, and sometimes I find myself thinking there isn’t a god per se, but a gathering of energy that some refer to as god. It would stand to reason that sending prayers and kind thoughts out into the universe, would bolster the energy, so that those in need have a source from which to find some strength to face the hard times.

  39. G-d says he wants a donut now.

  40. i’d don’t have a problem with actors thanking God, if that’s what they believe in, who am i to judge? i have faith but over the years my faith has been tested, i don’t understand why a child dies of cancer, why a smoker lives to be in their 80’s, why prayer works for some and not for others. things happen for a reason? to make us stronger? i still have faith, i still believe, i still say prayers, but i’m also still waiting for answers to questions that make no sense to me.

  41. (delurking to say)

    Amen and amen

  42. My husband and I are both Christian, but consider ourselves recovering Southern Baptists. While our faith in God is sound (without the occasional questioning of why, especially when shit piles up… such getting laid off and then falling two weeks later and breaking my leg), our main problem is with organized religion and the way churches treat others who do not fit their mold.

    It’s so refreshing to hear someone that can poke fun at the more ridiculous aspects (or people) in religion and yet have the consideration to so eloquently express your beliefs that God can help those who are close to you… just an awesome post.

  43. Oh hell, how I adore you.

    (And by ‘you’, I mean Neil, not hell).

  44. Wow Neil, beautifully said. Simple and perfect.

  45. Neil. This is extraordinary.
    That is all.

  46. This was rather beautiful, and made me cry.

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