Tuesday, February 11, 2020

How Many Prayers Per Minute?

This post was originally written on Tuesday, January 27th.

“What can I help you with today?”

“I’m hoping to light a candle at the Grotto”

“Alright then…thirty minute pass.  Ought to be enough to light a candle.”

“Alright.  Thank you.”

“Have a good day M’am.”

Thirty minutes.  Should be enough time to light a candle.  Well that is true.  That should go without saying.  Thirty minutes is enough time to park anywhere on campus, get to the Grotto, light a candle, and hot foot it back to wherever you illegally wedged your car in between Ziolkowski construction trucks. 

But how much time is enough time to light a candle and pray.  After all, is that not what we come to the Grotto to do?  Or to attempt?

How many minutes do I get to pray for my babies here on earth, safely learning and playing in school right now?  How many minutes do I get to pray for my babies in heaven, to ensure them of my love and pray to be reunited with them?  How many minutes, then, should I be allowed to pray for my brother Riley, or my sister Laura?  To rest in thoughts of their beautiful, heartbreaking, shooting star lives and wallow in misery at the moments of family togetherness stolen from us and their other loved ones?

How many seconds allotted for my husband, my love, still sleeping at home?  To pray for our marriage, that we continue to work at it and fight for it through the never ending waves of trouble and loss and joy and surprise and unending togetherness.  To wonder at my luck in finding him, catching him, holding him and letting myself be found, caught and held in return.

How many moments to pray for his patients from his last shift, and the people who will seek out his help at the Emergency Room in just a few hours.  That they be comforted.  That they be saved, if at all possible. That they be granted grace, and that they grant him and his colleagues grace in return.

And finally, how many minutes left for my own mother, and my friend, both going into surgery at just about this time?  

My mother, who, while never surprised at a new blow dealt by life will never take one laying down.  When we were flummoxed by the appearance of a brain tumor, and then harrowed by the appearance of a second one after a three month wait and see period, she took the bull by the horns, changed her insurance and switched doctors mid-diagnoses.  Now, two weeks later she is getting a hole drilled into her skull for a brain biopsy.  How many seconds to pray for a safe procedure?  How many seconds to pray for the skills of the surgeons?  How many seconds to pray that the needle follow a true path, and that the biopsy not leave her with more side effects?  That she not have a heart attack and not wake up from the procedure at all?  That I not get a call from my Daddy while picking up my daughters from school and have to pretend its all right its all right while hearing something unimaginable, again.  

How many seconds for a prayer from a daughter to God, begging to still be a daughter at the end of the day?

He didn’t mean it like that, I know.  The guard at the gate.  But as I drove past the lakes and found a parking spot on the road to St. Mary’s (all the parking spots in the small lot by the Grotto were taken up by construction trucks, per usual), I couldn’t help but wonder at his choice of words and and what it meant to me.  What it might mean to the person who passed through before me and the person who would pass through after me.  

What did they have to pray for today?  How many minutes were they given?  

How many minutes would it really take?

No comments:

Post a Comment