Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

That it may please thee to have mercy upon all mankind,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Little stanza, big order.

All mankind. That means “People we don’t know, people we don’t like, and people we think are evil and awful and disgusting and would just as soon spit at than look at them,” as well as those we love and care about.

It is really hard for me to pray for people I don’t know or don’t like. I confess I do it sort of half-heartedly, and almost always in an “institutional prayer setting”. I don’t do it on my own.

How does one remove self from this? I am very judgmental when it comes to things I find as “evil.” I would like to personally stomp them into the ground, remove their existence from the planet. I would not think twice. It’s the classic “gun owner” argument. If someone broke into my house, and threatened me, I would not even blink as I emptied my 12 gauge shotgun into their chest. It’s just that simple. Afterwards, I might have a problem with it. But during? Nope. Wouldn’t blink. I have a tremendous self-protection mechanism. I know this. I have stood up to people at times one of the risks was to be beaten or even killed.

I remember a night at the Armory about 25 years ago. Back in the day, a lot of local bands rented the Armory, and there were always kegs of beer. One of my friends was being beaten up. He was a sort of “gay-ish” looking fellow. Honestly, I don’t know if he was really gay or just “artsy”--we have fallen out of touch over the years so I have nothing to back me up either way. But a few of the locals were pounding on him and I know the word “faggot” was being tossed around. Now, I had about three beers under my belt, but they were a slow three beers (I had been dancing a lot) and I was pretty much in control of myself. But I walked right in the middle of them and said, “I’m taking him and we’re going home.” There were several epithets hurled my way. Mean, beer-smelling redneck guys. I looked at each of them and said, “You know what? I suppose you could kick my ass. But your fun is over. I’m taking him home, and if you want to come after me and beat the shit out of me, I suppose you’re welcome to it. But we’re going home.”

My friend was a mess. Split lip, two black eyes, lots of contusions on his face, and tipsy to boot. But I walked right through those guys and no one followed me.

How do I pray for people like that? How do I pray for people like my cousin’s ex-girlfriend, who mis-parented their two children?

I’ve told you this before. The best I can do is pray, “Bless so-and-so. Change me.”

I wish I could do more. Maybe some day that “Change me” will catch. I think sometimes it has a little. I don’t get ballistic mad over a few things that were guaranteed to make me ballistic. But it’s a pretty darn small change. I am grateful for the little changes it brings. But it is still very hard.


I wish it weren't such a long, slooooooowwwww process!!!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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