I was amazed to see how concerned people were about me when I told them about my illness.



Everyone seems to want to help. Some have offered food, or rides to and from my treatment sessions. (I will probably take some of them up on these.)



But I didn’t expect to be on anyone’s prayer list.



I am informed that I am on the prayer list of a Episcopal church in a town in eastern Rhode Island. Also, a Jewish acquaintance told Partner that she was praying for me. Also, a number of Catholic friends are praying for me, as is one Orthodox friend.



And I confess (weak superstitious thing that I am) that I recently dug out my old Catholic St. Peregrine medal and attached it to my keychain. (Peregrine is the patron of cancer sufferers.)



I only hope that all of these prayers and intercessions and magic spells are arriving at the correct destination, and not getting crossed up by the celestial telephone operators.



From Muriel Spark’s “The Gentile Jewesses,” concerning the death of her grandmother:



“She was buried as a Jewess since she was buried in my father’s house, and notices were put in the Jewish Press. Simultaneously my great-aunts announced in the Watford papers that she fell asleep in Jesus.”



I don’t want to fall asleep in Jesus, or Abraham’s bosom, or anything else. I don’t want to go anywhere, for that matter. I’m happy right where I am.



I feel much as did Muriel Spark’s father:



“My father, when questioned as to what he believes, will say ‘I believe in the Blessed Almighty who made heaven and earth,’ and will say no more, returning to his racing papers which contain problems proper to innocent men.”



I am probably less of an innocent man than Muriel Spark’s father was. But he had the right idea.



Let us occupy ourselves with matters proper to our station.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

7 Responses to Prayers

  1. This Old world is cold and cruel
    But I love it like a fool
    I’d rather go to the corner store
    Than sing hosanna on that heavenly shore
    I’d rather live on Parker Street
    Than dance around where the angels meet
    –Malvina Reynolds

    O how I agree with her.

  2. starproms says:

    You have my prayers Loren, but I don’t think you’ll need them. Your lively mind and sense of humour will see you through 🙂

  3. You’ve worked in a university too long, or had your emails not delivered, or crashed your computer once too often, or forgot to sync your phone with the cloud. The prayers always know where to go. They’re like homing pigeons.

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