Last night I sat in quiet darkness contemplating the violence and hatred in the world. When I am lost in search of comprehension and understanding in my life, some times I try to pray. So I did last night and I had nothing to say. It felt like an empty void of nothingness. I thought, “What am I doing? It feels like talking to an imaginary friend.”
In the following moments I started considering my own faults and there were many. I told my imaginary friend everything about those faults, or at least until the thought came to me, “Hey dude, lay off some. You ain’t that bad.” But then I thought, “No, there is hatred inside of me, no doubt about it. A killer rages deep within or so my favorite therapist told me once.”
So then I said, “Ok God, I’ve come clean and I have no right to come to you in prayer, but I am going to try again.”
Again, silence, and words seemed such a useless tool to use in praying. So… I thought…fuck. And then I recited the Lord’s Prayer…but then I got a little hung up on the differences between the Protestants and the Catholics versions of the prayers and immediately I started doing some theological analysis in my mind. Then I thought, “Yes, it is like your birthday song where everyone is singing together until they get to your name and then all harmonic hell breaks out, “Happy Birthday….Gary, Daddy, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Gar-reee.” Yeah, praying didn’t go well, but you probably guessed that when I earlier used the “f” word.
Afterwards, I went into my office and perused my bookshelf where I found a book that once made my cry as a child, Charlotte’s Web. I began to read it. I soon realized that the answers to my prayer struggles in the darkness were probably embedded in the story of Wilbur, Fern, and Charlotte. Friendship, courage, loss, new life, and most importantly…love is what makes Charlotte’s Web such a simple and powerful story. I think love was missing from my prayer time. Maybe I will read Charlotte’s Web first, next time.