Prayer and the wavering agnostic

The last several years, I’ve been thinking a lot about God. Whether she/he/it really exists and if so, how she/he/it really operates. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t know for sure. On both counts. I like to think that God does exist, but the one thing I am certain of, however, is that God does not work the way we like to think God does.

Very recently, a dear friend of mine discovered she has a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Without going into detail, it will suffice to say that she is very young and her prognosis is significantly less than ideal. And in the wake of this announcement, friends and family alike have been stepping up to offer supportive words and acts of kindness. One phrase that keeps popping up is, “I’m praying for you!”

I cannot speak with authority to the power of prayer. I’m sure everyone has had moments in their lives where they’ve beaten insurmountable odds or experienced such sheer coincidence that they have no way to explain it other than the hand of God. And this is all well and good. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. Nobody knows for sure. That’s why it’s called faith. At minimum, prayer just makes you feel better. Gives you some solace, or someone to talk to when you don’t know where else to turn. At maximum, prayer moves God to miracles. And my friend needs a miracle.

When I say God doesn’t operate like we like to think he does, I mean that God is not a magical being. He does not grant wishes and he will not, will NOT just reach down from the clouds with his God Finger and make her better. What we have instead is science and scientists who have discovered biologies and chemistries and logics and developed them into cures and treatments. We have brain power and senses of caring, so he can work through doctors and nurses to use those sciences and cures to help others. Everybody has a job when it comes to answering a prayer. The scientists will find cures. The doctors will use them. But what is our job, as family and friends? Do we sit by and wring our hands or count our beads and look to the sky? No. We’ve already been given our assignment. Our job, friends, is to help out.

Rest assured, my friend has done more praying on the subject of her cancer than anyone has. Her life is on the line. The futures of her children are on the line. She has worries and cares beyond what I’m comfortable imagining. She has stress. Stress that is detrimental to her healing process. Our job, friends, is to promote her healing by alleviating her stress.

So when you’re praying for her recovery, look in the mirror. You are a piece of the answer puzzle. HELP HER OUT. Make a meal. Run an errand. Watch her kids. Keep her company and give her a good laugh. Be strong for her. Prop her up by letting her lean on you. Support her and lift that stress, so her body can focus on healing. Get up off your knees and be the answer to her prayers.

Because when you answer hers, it is much more likely yours will be answered too.

 

I assure you, sir, you have misheard.

When I was a kid and our family would leave for road trips, my dad would back out of the driveway and announce, “We’re off!” And the rest of us would shout back, “I’ll say!” and thus commenced the horrible 12-hour drive through some godforsaken state on our way to DisneyWorld or the mountains or wherever.

I’m willing to bet many people have some variation on this theme, where they start a trip or head off somewhere and say something like, “Let’s do it!” or “Rock ‘n roll!” or “Movin’ out!” Mine is apparently, “Onward!”

I suppose I do say it a lot and I suppose I don’t notice it much. And I also suppose I don’t notice that my kids pick up on it. Until today when, pulling away from the cashier at Costco, Lucas hollered, “N-Word!”

“WHAT?” I said.

“N-Word!” he cheerfully replied. “Let’s go!”

Today I am thankful no one was standing in the immediate vicinity.

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

This afternoon, Adam and Lucas and I are walking down the street and we pass a baby boutique. The window is full of tiny Christmas onesies and dresses.

“These clothes are so cute,” I said. “They’re kind of babyish for you guys, but they’d be cute on teeny babies. I guess I don’t have any little babies anymore.”

To which Lucas replied, “You have Liam.”

Mmmm. Costco.

A couple of days ago I took Lucas to Costco. We bought a few necessities, such as a 30-pack of beer, a 30-pack of paper towels, 45 pounds of kitty litter, a 45-pack of lunchbox-sized packets of cookies, three boxes of almond milk, a drum of coffee and a monster box of Goldfish crackers. There was a good deal on plasma TVs, but I passed on those.

After checking our loot, we hit the food counter for lunch. I bought us a quarter-pound hot dog, a giant slice of pizza and a large Sprite for $3.47. We settled in at a picnic table that inexplicably had an umbrella. We enjoyed our lunch and people-watched. Then we left, where Lucas was in charge of handing the door man our receipt. The door man drew a smiley face on the back and handed it back to him.

As we’re driving home, Lucas burps. And it stinks of this giant hot dog. “Ew, Lucas!” I said. “What a hot dog burp!” He laughed and a little while later he did it again.

The rest of the day, every once in awhile, I would smell Costco hot dog when Lucas was nearby. I’d always call him on it and he found it hysterical. It was truly gross.

Later in the evening, Lucas got ready for bed. He took his bath, put on his jammies, we sang his songs and he went to sleep. A little while later, I heard him calling. I went to his room and he mumbled that he had to go potty. I led him down the hall, and he stumbled, still pretty much asleep, to the bathroom, where he put up the seat, pulled down his pants and ripped the most unbelievable buster known to man.

“I farted,” he said, eyes still closed. “I farted that hot dog. I farted that old greasy hot dog right out of me.”

Then he finished his business, pulled up his pants, flushed and sleepwalked himself back to bed.

 

Information that would have been useful to me 2 hours from now

In a touch of backstory, one of Liam’s front teeth is a little discolored. I don’t know how it got this way. I reckon he fell down or got hit in the mouth at some point in the last six years and now this tooth is yellowish. It’s loose, at any rate, so we won’t have to look at it too much longer.

In the dead of night Wednesday (4:30 a.m. to you and me), Liam climbed into bed with us. It’s dark and warm and I fall back asleep. And then, out of nowhere, Liam whispers, “mommmmm! mom!”

“Hunh,” I sort-of acknowledge him.

“My tooth is the color of cheese. But it doesn’t smell like cheese. It smells like a tooth.”

You’d have to be drunk to get it.

Can I just say that I do not understand the Svedka vodka commercials? People in 2011 are doing the robot to Dancing Machine, both from the ’70s, and then a big-boobed bald lady robot sticks her ass out and a voice tells us it’s the vodka of the future? Are bald lady robots with huge knockers considered hot now? Is this what you guys are into these days? Future retro ho-bots who drink vodka? I would have loved to be in on the pitch meeting for this.

“So, uh, we’re going to have, uh, people doing the robot and we’re going to play Dancing Machine. Then uh, there’s going to be a bunch of flashing lights and we’re going to have this cartoon of this like, uh, naked lady robot, except she doesn’t have any hair. And you know, the cartoon naked-lady-bot is going to look at the camera with this sort of, I dunno, sexyface look and show her metal robot butt, and then it’ll say it’s the vodka of 2023. And this will make people want to drink our vodka.”

“Genius! Book a studio posthaste!”

Tumbleweave Sighting: The Mills Hair Vortex

OMG, it’s been so long since I posted I forgot my password. It took me three tries.

Just when I was thinking the ladies were doing a great job at keeping their hair on lately, an Alert Reader sent me a Tumbleweave Sighting. This took place Tuesday evening on St. Louis Mills Boulevard. What IS is about St. Louis Mills and tumbleweaves? Is it windier there or something? Does the place just piss people off to the point they’re pulling their hair out?

Hostage

I’m trapped in the basement. Lucas won’t let me out. I’m being forced to watch TiVo’d Little Einsteins and play Wii Sports Resort games. So far I have played standard bowling, 100 pin bowling, barrier bowling, Tilt City (perfect score!) and Frisbee Dog. The Little Einsteins I’m pretending to watch is about a kangaroo dodging comets in space with a fishbowl on his head. Because everyone knows you can breathe in space as long as you have a fishbowl on your head.

*Sigh* Show’s over. Now I have to watch him play GeoTrax. He’s telling me where to sit. I should have painted eyeballs on my eyelids so I could take a nap.

 

UPDATE: I am being coerced into rolling a small plastic rock under the GeoTrax bridge and I’m being yelled at because apparently I’m doing it wrong.

The Holy Grail has been found!

I am thrilled to announce that I have seen the Holy Grail! I did not touch it and my experience was only fleeting. But it was enough, dear readers! Enough to restore my faith that we are all human, with human failings and frailties, wherever we are and whatever station in life we achieve.

I saw the West County Tumbleweave.

Monday, August 22, 2011. 4:17 p.m. on the side of westbound 64/40 just past the Mason Road overpass. And the best part? It was GOLD.

At least I hope it was a weave, otherwise somebody’s purse Yorkie gave up and jumped.

End of Summer Report (or: Jeez, we thought you quit this stupid blog!)

Holy shit. Look at me blogging. You thought I died, right? Well, TOUGH.

Nothing of note is really happening these days, I just wanted to get in a quick post, so if you’ve got other stuff to do, I dont mind if you just, you know, go to another website or something. It’s cool and I wont take it personally.

Back in May we were all in a car accident on the highway. Traffic slowed down to rubberneck a fender bender and some dumb ho with state minimum coverage was so busy ogling, she forgot to apply her brakes and slammed into the back up us, which made us slam into the back of the car in front of us. Nobody was badly hurt. Liam hit his head on my seat, so he had a little bump, and I hit the back of my head on something, I don’t know what, and royally jacked up my ankle, so I got to sleep for a couple of weeks with my ankle up on ice and my head only facing a certain way so as not to hurt my bump. The car was totaled and the four of us had to tool around in Adam’s Mustang for a couple of weeks, all of us going everywhere together. But the money came through pretty quickly and now I’m stylin’ around town in a newer, nicer car. The only complaint being that we had just about paid off the old car and were going to get Adam something new, and now he’s stuck driving his11-year-old car for who knows how much longer.

Toward the end of June, Lucas gave me a black eye. He was playing on our bed while I was still lying in it one morning and did this crazy move Vince McMahon would be proud of and the back of his head hit my right on my browbone, full force. The swelling and gorgeous colors were unbelievable. I spent a lot of time hiding at home, so I didn’t look abused. When I did go out, I was slathered in makeup, with glasses and a blue baseball cap. I was even doing my eye makeup on my other eye in black and blue, so it would look even. It took about four weeks to clear up and even now, there seems to be a permanent dark mark under my eye. It is STILL tender on my browbone and I can feel a tiny bump. I’m positive he fractured my skull.

So the kids are back in school. It was a quick summer and that’s fine with me. Liam and Lucas spent three months beating on each other and tattling. We went swimming a couple of times but mostly just holed up in the basement with stupid cartoons (seriously, Adventure Time is the STUPIDEST CARTOON EVER) and Wii games, trying to escape the oppressive heat. Liam played baseball, a season that was supposed to end like in June, but every game and practice kept getting rained out, so they played makeup games into eternity. Eventually he got a trophy for showing up and spinning in circles in a field with his glove on his head. He just started soccer, which should last until Christmas and provide us with plenty of asthma attacks.

I’m pleased to say it looks like the ladies about town managed to keep their hair sewn in. I saw ONE tumbleweave the whole summer and it wasn’t even worth posting. It was pretty hot, so I dont blame whoever it was for just saying, “F this,” and ripping it out on the grocery store parking lot. One Alert Reader did see a tumbleweave on a family vacation to Disney. So the phenomenon is nationwide and not just limited to my area, in case you were wondering, and you probably weren’t. Thank you, Alert Reader, for your keen eye!

So that’s the update and now it’s back to Technical Fall, by which I mean it’s still August and will be summer for another full month. But the weather is cooperating and it feels nice, so it doesn’t seem like the stupidest thing in the world to be back doing school dropoffs and pickups. I’m off now, to take a shower and dry my hair without “help”.  Talk to you homies later.

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