This is in response to the December 2008 challenge to write a fic with no dialogue.
I heard some pompous man on the television criticizing people who prayed for sports teams to win. He was talking about how wrong it was and that God had more important things on his mind than petty concerns about who won a sporting match.
Bullshit! That man didn't know that he was talking about. Because sometimes, when you're praying for one thing, you aren't really praying for that. Sometimes you don't even know what you're really praying for.
That's what is so wrong with what that man was saying. Because he doesn't know what the person who's praying for a team to win is really praying for. That kid playing basketball who told the interviewer that he had prayed that the shot would go in and it had, might not even have known that what he was really praying for was something else.
I prayed for a team to win. I know a lot of people who prayed for teams to win. Every Sunday I'd pray for the Cowboys to win. Because if the Cowboys won, then Sunday afternoon was usually different. If the Cowboys won **he* was usually different. Not always. Men like him are unpredictable. Things that normally make them happy, for no reason at all don't.
I didn't know it then, but what I was really praying for was that he wouldn't be angry. He wouldn't yell and throw his dinner across the room. He wouldn't use his hands to punish us for the Cowboys losing. Just for a few hours, he wouldn't make our lives miserable for things beyond our control.
That's too much for a 10 year-old to pray for. It's too much for a 10 year-old to understand that he's praying for. So, a 10-year-old, prays for the team to win. Because if the team wins, none of those other things happen.
Who knows what that kid who made the winning shot was really praying for. Maybe he was praying for the shot to go in so he'd get the attention of the NBA scouts and he'd get drafted. He'd sign a big contract, buy his mother a house in the suburbs, and get his little brother away from the gangs and the drugs.
Then again, maybe he was just praying for the shot to go in. I don't know. But, neither did the fellow pontificating about it on TV. I wish more people on TV would be less judgmental about other people.
I have to go now. Our time is up this week. I'll come back next week just like always. As I always do, I will pray that the next visit will not be necessary. I'll continue to do penance, because I realized while watching that pompous man condemning a young man for praying to win a game, that I'm no longer praying for Hannah to get well.
Josiah laid the pen down and closed the journal.