Get Down On Your Knees And Pray

I did that yesterday. I got down on my knees in a hospital corridor and prayed. I gave thanks.  A couple of official looking people with clipboards saw me and possibly considered alerting either security or the Psych Unit, but they let me go. Even they could see I was in the grip of acknowledging the power of prayer. The power of something.

I am a big fan of praying. Not in the Catholic sense that I was taught where you say endless Hail Marys and Our Fathers and ask the saints to bless all the people you like while pointedly leaving out the people you don’t like.

I pray in a different way. It’s a melding of meditation, creative visualisation and little bits of cognitive behavioural therapy that I’ve picked up along the way. And wishing. Lots of wishing. You can’t have a good prayer without a wish or two.

I usually go somewhere quiet when I pray – near the water or under a tree – and oddly enough, with a rosary; and just think of the person I am praying for. I think of them, I hope they are alright, I ask whoever is up there to help them out.

And sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the thing with prayer. There are no guarantees. You could pray for days, weeks, months and still not have the outcome you desire. Or your prayers could be answered straight away.

Ever since I learned of Jules’ mother’s stroke I have been praying. I’ve gone all out with pictures of the saints and candles and lucky charms all over the place because it is my most ardent and fervent wish that Jules and her mother reconcile.

Jules got in to Sydney late Sunday night. I went to the hospital with her yesterday. Where her mother is. I gasped when I saw her mother because there is only one way to describe what has become of her and that is grisly. Her face is all contorted and lop-sided with the stroke. Her eyes are full of anguish. To see her in that state – so helpless, so vulnerable – didn’t make me feel vindicated, or glad or that she somehow deserved it – it made me feel almost overwhelmingly sad.

I think I was rattling a bit as Jules and I walked along the hospital corridors to her mother’s room. I was trying to walk very carefully, very unobtrusively because I didn’t want to alert Jules to the full extent of my praying on her behalf, nor did I want her to worry about what she sees as my ever-increasing eccentricity.

You’re a bit fruity, she frequently says to me, which I take as a compliment but which I suspect she sees as something I need to work on.

Anyway, I was rattling a bit because I wanted to ensure I had a high impact prayer situation going on. I wanted the full metal jacket prayer package. So I brought along some little helpers.

My lucky white feather.  My lucky shell. My lucky piece of obsidian. The bit of seaglass I found in the shape of a heart. My lucky bit of velvet. My miniature gonk and the lucky dime I found when I visited my sister in San Francisco in the ’80s. I had all those lucky bits and pieces attached to me in various ways as well as wearing my rosary beads.

I will admit when I had all that stuff concealed about my person and I was rattling away and walking and praying and wishing, that I did feel a bit fruity and I did wonder momentarily what non-fruity people do in such situations and then I forgot about varying levels of fruitiness because my lucky white feather that I had concealed in my bra began to stick into me much worse than a loose piece of underwire ever could and I had to walk with my left arm at a 45 degree angle to prevent some kind of impalement.

Then Jules walked into her mother’s hospital room. And she looked at her mother and her mother looked at her and her right hand, her good hand, twitched. And Jules rushed to her mother’s side, kissing her, stroking her head, telling her she loved her and her mother held out her good hand and took her daughter’s hand and clasped it. Hard.

And so they sat. Hands held. Together.

And that was all I needed to see to know that my prayers had been answered. I didn’t care that people might think I was a bit strange if they knew all the things that were lurking under my clothes. I didn’t care if I had correctly (or incorrectly) followed the prayer code of conduct. I didn’t even care about that blasted white feather, ready to sever an artery. All I cared about was Jules and her mother, together at last.

So I got on my knees and prayed and gave thanks in a hospital corridor with off white walls and insipid green linoleum floors. And I got to thinking that prayers are a lot like wishes. I got to thinking that prayers and wishes might just be the same thing.

They say it all the time, don’t they? Be careful what you wish for.

Maybe you should also be careful what you pray for.

Because sometimes what you pray for can turn out to be really good.

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36 thoughts on “Get Down On Your Knees And Pray

  1. Oh Selma you are a special lady!
    I’ve just put my mascara on and it’s down my face now, I’m so so pleased for your frend Jules, I can’t say how much.
    I agree totaly with your approach to prayer, our thoughts, love and energy can be very powerful … even more so with such wonderful luck enfused charms added to the mix :o)
    A wonderful start to my day … thank you x

    … and thank you so much for your lovely, lovely comments … right back at you! xxx

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  2. Hi Selma,
    Feather in the bra, not good Selma, you will definitely have to think of a better spot than that, but then again it may have worked. 🙂

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    1. I know. I don’t know what I was thinking, Mags. But I have discovered that at a pinch you could use a big feather as a weapon. Those quills are sharp. Some of the crazy things I do just make me laugh at myself 😆

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  3. This is wonderful news for Jules. Thank you for sharing it. I do my praying the same way you do. When the heart is right, the prayers get power.

    As for the fruity bits, well, I completely understand that, I really do, but I do draw the line at sticking feathers in my decolletage. Jabby things in my underpinnings make me, um, stabby.

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    1. ‘When the heart is right, the prayers get power.’
      That’s beautiful, Karen. I like that so much. It is all about the heart. You are a wise, wise woman XX

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    1. I think she secretly likes my fruitiness, she just doesn’t want to encourage me by saying so. Who knows where that kind of encouragement could end ….. :mrgreen:

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  4. I can just see you with all that stuff aboard just in case it might work. Let’s say it might have, but don’t say it did or you will never rest in peace. Remember what they did to Mary McKillop! 🙂

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    1. Oh, heaven forbid someone should build a shrine to me or something. Or see my face in a taco. I am keeping my lucky exploits as quiet as possible. Tina Turner said it and she was right – ‘We don’t need another hero….’ 😯

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  5. This was touching to read Sel. Jules is lucky to have such a thoughtful caring friend. And so true, wishes are very powerful and be so very careful what you wish for. I don’t pray anymore (in the formal sense of the word) but I certainly do wish for good things and good things to come to people I care about. It is lovely to read that these ladies were reconciled but how sad that it took what it did to get them to this point. Better late than never though…I’m sure her mom is wishing that things had been different along the way…

    Hugs, G :<)

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    1. It is so sad that it took this to reconcile them, G. I am slightly stunned that it came to this. But at least they have some time now. It is incredibly bittersweet, however.

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  6. A delightful,spiritual post that draws not only a picture of possibilities,but facts as they unfold.Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  7. This got me teary too! I really enjoyed reading this post, and not just because of the ‘good news’ – it was so heartwarming and funny and sad and a whole lot of other stuff (not to mention the visual imagery of you with your ‘stuff’ and particularly the feather sticking into you – hahaha.). I’m sure hospital staff see a lot of people praying and other things, in the corridors.

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    1. I am really glad you liked it, Gabrielle. That means a lot to me. That feather was a bad idea. Ouchy. But it did give Jules and I a much needed laugh. Hospital staff must see all sorts of sights. Can you imagine? It must be a cornucopia of storytelling material!

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  8. Oh my word, I started crying when you wrote Jules, because I remember this story too well. And did I ever hope for that hand grasp.

    Selma, there is nothing remotely fruity about you (except for the sweet, delicious and healthy bit). Your prayers did work. Thank goodness. Now I’m off to find a tissue. xoxo

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful news, Selma! I have a neighbour here in the care centre who had a stroke around December. She has taught herself to walk again, albeit not perfectly but she is quite independent. I do believe in the power of prayer Selma, but His plan doesn’t always coincide with ours. But the main thing that their relationship has been healed and that would be His plan!

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    1. I completely agree with you re. the power of prayer. I have seen it many times. That is great news about your neighbour. I know many people successfully recover from strokes. I am thrilled that Jules and her mother have a fresh start with their relationship!

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  10. Oh wow, what fabulous news! I did chuckle though about all the clobber you were toting around with you! Can just imagine bits sticking out here and there. And fruity is definitely good – nearly all the people I really like are a bit quirky!

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    1. It’s so funny about all that lucky charm stuff, really. I am a bit of a loon. But at least I’m not dull! All the people I really love are fruity too. They just have a more refreshing outlook on life. Everyone should embrace their inner fruit!

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  11. You wonderful little fruitcake! That was all kinds of crazy praying and wishing … I’m so happy to get an update on Jules and her mom.
    I am also very happy to have found you here in blogland, congrats!

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  12. This post is superb! I got teary reading it. I had to read it twice because the first time I skimmed through, anxious to read that their reunion was positive. The second time to grasp your emotions, thoughts and support. Fantastic.

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    1. Awww, thank you Lucent Imagery. It is so nice that you were so moved by this. I am really touched. I am just so glad that the reunion was a positive one!!!

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  13. I’m glad to see the reunion went well, and that your friend wasn’t rebuffed yet again. But theres a hard cynical side of me that stands back and thinks hmmm your friend is there for her mom when she needed her most, but where was she when Jules needed her? Perhaps because I have to deal with this very thing and I have no sympathy or time for people who turn their backs on their children for ANY reason. In my mind there is never a good enough reason or excuse to do so and its made worse when you consider it was done in her case and in my hubs simply because the parents didn’t approve of their choice in a mate.

    I guess I need to learn how to forgive .

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    1. I actually feel very similarly to you, Cathy. I have watched Jules deal with her mother’s disapproval for years and it has been very damaging. I have a bit of trouble with forgiveness in these type of situations too because the whole thing seems so petty and so unnecessary. So someone doesn’t have all that much money, so what? It doesn’t make you a serial killer and is it worth alienating your entire family?

      I am really glad things are good between Jules and her mother at the moment but if her mother recovers I am prepared for things to go back to the way they were. I hope they don’t, but I am a cynic in this regard. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see….

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