A prayer for death

Before I begin, I want to first acknowledge (though not necessarily apologize) for the way in which my writing goes through some definite mood swings. There are times when I have a great many situations to discuss, and I can pick more variety of tone; however, I am having one of those weeks where everything blog-worthy is heavy… I’m writing this at 5:30 a.m., which seems to be more the norm than the exception lately. I do this, because some experiences are best described after some times passes, and others need immediate comment.

I know a patron who has always spoken to me in spiritual terms. The first time I ever met him he wanted to give me a massage and align my chakras. Such is the club: You meet people of all backgrounds and beliefs. This particular person is a mystical type, though I am not quite convinced his powers are attuned to the level he himself believes. At any rate, when he asks me to pray for something on his behalf I generally agree to the wish and send out a private moment of hope. I have done this, because his requests have always been constructive and/or productive (if not odd and eccentric).

This time, however, I am having difficulty…

He wants me to pray for his father to die. Dude, I just wanted to dance naked for you for like eight minutes. This is getting to be rather more than I bargained for. On the one hand I understand that he wants his father’s suffering to end (and by extension, his mother’s), but on the other hand how am I supposed to send out an earnest wish for this person to fall down dead?

“Well, when I had a prayer circle to ask for his recovery after his first surgery, that went well. So I figured if I could get enough people to pray for him to die during his second surgery, he’d finally just get on with it.”

Normally I would just smile and nod at a strange request without really doing anything about it, but something about the way this patron sincerely hopes his father dies struck me as something worth talking about, even if I’m not entirely sure how I feel about being asked to contribute in any way to someone’s demise. I have known friends and family members who have sickened, or been injured, and who have passed away. I have had many friends who have had this experience and talked about it with me. Of course I don’t want their deaths to be painful or protracted, yet do I dare to admit that I hoped for their passings? Maybe, but only as a reprieve from suffering. But I suppose the real question behind this post is this: How lonely (or insert other adjective here) does someone have to be to ask in the middle of a nude dance an exotic dancer he sees once or twice in a month to synergize with the others who are sending out a prayer for death?

What am I even supposed to pray, even if I agree to this (which I’m not sure I do)? “I ask for a peaceful resolution and transition for this person’s spirit.” That’s an eloquent way of saying “God, please kill this person.” What if this patron’s father goes into his operation praying for life? (This is a good example of how ridiculous it is when opposing armies of the same faith both intone God’s favor as justificiation for victory on the field of battle.)

Honestly, this may very well be the first post I’ve written on here for which I feel absolutely zero closure after describing what I’ve experienced. Jeez… I was just shaking my pecker at him… and he unloads this on me… I need to be charging more for VIP’s.

Author: Devon Hunter

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5 Comments

  1. Whenever anyone prays for anything, it is because they think that having it will be a better outcome than not having it. Your patron has decided that it would be better for his father to die. In reality, that may or may not be the best possible outcome.

    If you say a very simple, sincere, fervent prayer that the best possible outcome for this person will occur, whatever that may be, you have complied with the spirit of your patron’s request, without offering any opposition to anyone else’s will (such as the father’s).

    And then move on, knowing you have prayed the perfect prayer.

    As far as asking how lonely this man might be, lonely people can be found in a lot of places, and I would think that people who have no intimacy in their lives would gravitate to beautiful nude dancers. I’m pretty sure that you have grown accustomed to meeting them.

    Pray the simple prayer and move on. No need to ponder it any more.

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  2. I think you were kind when you called this patron eccentric. So Devon how do you keep yourself so sane and balanced when you come across such a cross-section of humanity?

    I am with you there is something inherently wrong about praying for someone’s death. Mind you most of my relatives work in the health care field, so it may have something to do with my DNA.

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  3. thank you steve – that is exactly what i ended up doing. it isn’t my place to impose a judgement one way or the other, nor to allow it to color my prayer. i simply meditated for a moment on a hope for this person’s peace, without focusing on defining what form that might take.

    jonathan, this blog isn’t just for the readers. i admit freely that i do this for selfish reasons. it’s therapeutic in its way. getting email and postings from people is a great way of dialoguing and comparing notes.

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  4. Steve is right you do what you have to for yourself and move on. You are just like the bartender or hairdresser, but you are the stripper. He felt confortable unloading his burden on you. I can understand because you have such a heart and gift of caring. I am like that also and wear my heart on my sleve. Unfortunately this makes us vunerable at times, but is truly a wonderful gift along with our smile. This is what makes us such a great person and listener. You did the right thing with this patron. Life is always a great learning experience for all of us, if we will listen not only to those who talk to us, but listen to ourselves also.

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  5. That’s a challenging place to be. Praying for the happiness and end of suffering for someone is much different than a prayer for the death of someone. To be asked such a powerful question when naked has got to be… I’ve gotten it clothed and it was whammy, so I can’t even imagine what that could be like.

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