I broke the prayer strike.
I prayed again to God for my brother’s long-term partner who was dying from cancer too. This horrible disease that you and I may die of as well.
I prayed after the hospice staff said that she wouldn’t survive the night. We had visited her recently, but had hoped that she would have longer. Before I had started the strike, I had prayed for healing for both her and Ad. For a miracle. She died 83 days after Ad died. On Mother’s Day. To be with Ad. She had faithfully and lovingly looked after my brother during his illness.
So, I prayed briefly, alone, a prayer just for her and her family. I asked God if he wanted to say anything, but noticed nothing in particular being said. At the end of the short prayer I said, “Goodbye” and resumed the strike.
When Ad died there had been an owl here. I’m not a very superstitious man, but I am a little superstitious (Remember, I believe in a literal devil). And it could be that God allows things such as owls as messengers of death, as many cultures have perceived them.
The owl had called out in the night near the bedroom window just before and just after Ad died. It had started a couple of weeks before. A couple of weeks ago I heard the owl, but just once, again in the night. Then, again, the owl called the night before Ad’s partner died. The call of the owl is strangely comforting in and of itself, superstition aside. But I cannot explain it. It makes no sense. It does not compute. There are many things outside of my understanding. I’m worried I will fear owl calls from here on.
It feels like deja-vu. Like going through the same thing again. All the nervous waiting, the fear of the news, the responsibility to tell others… and soon the funeral. A couple of people have remarked how tragic it all is. I do not think it any more tragic than any one of our lives. Ad and his partner’s lives were not so tragic. But they have both died way too young.
I don’t blame Mary and the Saints or the angels. Even if it happened on Mother’s Day (Mary is said to be a mother to all believers). She has always struck me as a loving figure. They have an excuse because they are not all-powerful. I don’t blame Heaven. But it seems that Heaven is only interested in seeing that God gets his way in everything, from the big things through to the smallest things. They know who butters their bread. If I were wise, I would act in the same way.
I am not so wise.
But I find it shocking. Is that the only reason people serve and praise the Almighty? Because he has the power over whether we live or die? That is no reason to serve and worship someone is it? That is like obeying a tyrant simply because they have the power to make you succeed or fail, or live or die. I had expected better of God. Is that all there is to him? Surely there is more to him?
So the strike continues, despite an attempt at talks. Comforts are few. Are we supposed to be noting them down in order to help others, even when our reactions vary so?
There are no parameters to life. How are we to prepare for these things?
What do I even hope to achieve by writing these things down to be read? Past prayers remain unanswered.
I feel I am being manipulated by benign and adversarial forces into praying again.
I am flagging.