Mail Route To God
By the candles there is a stack of “parchment” paper and cup of pencils laid out to offer parishioners and visitors, alike, a chance to pray . Maybe wish, like on stars or coins. The look of old world parchment giving gravitus to the fact God would be reading these. Each pencil looked as if it were carved from the crucifix into a tiny twig writing instrument.
The wall was an indoor trellis of wooden slats with rolled up prayers stuffed in the openings. They were everyone’s wants masked as an official prayer. Love? Health? Money? Peace? I couldn’t venture a guess, I was taught in parochial school to only ask for others, and most often I do, but never always. The prayers seemed ready to be picked up for outgoing mail. Who gets that mail route?
People had teamed up making their prayers into designs: a cross, a heart, letters of the alphabet, perhaps to draw God’s attention to their prayer first. I would have passed by, only intrigued by what I saw, but you wanted to pray for me. You’re not the first who has done so, nor the last who will give up. My Italian grandmother beat you to it, when I was 7. She lit a candle and prayed God would take the devil out of me, instead he has been housed nicely in seasonal coats. She was far too right, as I fidget in the house of the lord. You hide in a corner, and write. I want to know what, but you are protecting each word as if I’m the dumb kid two seats back attempting to copy. I want to know what you could possibly be asking God for on behalf. Are you asking that I find comfort? A night of rest that does not toss and turn me violently into tomorrow? Love that does not belong to you? Happiness? God answers as he will.
I scratch my prayer for you, the way a blind child crawls. I know what I wish for you and am sure the note will be delivered to God’s door. For you , God will read. God doesn’t need a prayer to know what I would give for you. What I truly want for you. God knows my loyalty only constricts me. He knows that I will stand next to you regardless of what battles you fight. God knows that I what I ask here will save you from me.
I roll the paper up and place this prayer in an open slot. Closing my eyes I and repeat, Dear Lord, Give him what he needs if he can’t have what he wants.