I thought this gem up the other night when coming home with my chicken salad sandwich. Incidentally, I eat 5 chicken salad sandwiches a week, because I like chicken salad. I should also admit that I often eat past 9:00 PM, usually with orzo or some other superfood. I know I shouldn't eat that late, but it is one of my allowances. I don't eat early either.
I was turning my car in to my neighborhood after working sound at the Wolf. I still have a duty up there on some nights, in addition to my real job at Pfoodman, which, by the way, I am enjoying the heck out of. I am returning to my core values; fitness, wellness, a couple other things too--back to the foundation of Pfoodman when we started it back at the turn of the century, 2000.
I was almost home and thinking about a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in a while. We worked together for years and, when the time came for him to move on, it caused a little emotion for both of us. I called him prior to his departure to check on things, knowing it was going to be his last day soon. When he answered the phone, he said: "Hey, I was just praying for you"...
...there are a couple things that went through my head at that moment. First, why would anyone need to pray for me unless they thought I needed it--this a concern under any paranoiac standard; I was a bit restless for good reason. Second, are there not other things more important in life to save prayers for? Are we supposed to pray and talk about it all the time? Do we just use the phrase "I'm praying for you" as a casual term of a endearment, a warm, sensitive verbal caress from anyone wanting to broadcast a tone of humility at a particular time or place? Again, are we at church? If so which church and which God are we referencing? This stuff makes crazy. Let's dig deeper.
This type of dialog is tossed around fairly often in my community. And yes, there is indeed the presence of spirituality in my world. And, while I am not accustomed to the dialog; the referencing of God, prayer, divinity and Jesus; I understand what it means based on my own Christian valued upbringing. I can appreciate it. But honestly, because it was unsolicited and outside of my normal communication standard with most people, I thought he was simply praying for himself and I happened to be on the canvass, an image placed and processed as per his moral perspective of things. (And, man, if I had a clue as to how to pray, in reference to his standard) I would have offered one up.
Ok, I don't know if having "spirituality" means that you have to speak a certain language or talk a certain game or whatever. My political system keeps me from doing that. But is it truly necessary to understand, study, subscribe and/or fall in line with somebody else's standard of the meaning of being spiritually inclined (in this case, what it is to pray for someone)? The message was clear. The problem was that it was "a thrust" of something complex combined with salutation, and at first glance, I thought it to be exploitative and indulgent. I know, I know. Does that make me an atheist?
Not in by book. I suppose that it may speak to my apprehension and sensitivity to being authentic/transparent in my own personal belief system. One that I am quite happy with right now and, like others, seek to become a little more connected. But the bottom line was that I could not tell my friend that I would pray for him too, because I don't have a system set up for that. For me it's like the difference between the greeting salutation of shaking hands or doing the "European kiss on each cheek thing". It's just different.
Perhaps this blog entry is my answer in the form of connectivity to all good, positive things heading his way, my kind of prayer, in the same Christian valued center of love and grace where my spirituality resides? Perhaps I will write a song about it and let it broadcast through the walls, halls, windows and streets in the place where I express myself? I think that works for me, ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.