Thursday, June 14, 2007

nine word prayer

So much for world affairs. It is time to tell a story, with no moral and no redeeming social value.
In 1980, I was staying at a place called the Sea Haven Hostel, affectionately known as Sleaze Haven. This was in Seattle WA, which is about as far as you can get from Atlanta and still be in the lower 48. I was working through Manpower, and staying in a semi private room for $68 a month.
There was a Christian group that met in the basement on Sunday Night. Now, as some of you may know, I am a recovering baptist who hasn't been to church since 1971. However, the lure of a free meal was hard to resist, so I went to a few meetings. One night, I had spent the afternoon doing quality control work on the local beer supply, and cheerfully joined in the after dinner discussion. This was the night when I realized that the Bible is not the Word of G-d, a concept that has been very handy in dealing with the clumsy efforts of our Jesus-mad culture to convert me.
They seemed to like me, though, and welcomed me back. Maybe it was the southern accent.
One Sunday, after the dinner was finished (the menu escapes me), it was time to have a prayer to begin the meeting. I raised my hand.
Now, Jesus Worshippers enjoy prayer as entertainment. When they bow their heads, you see them stretching and deep breathing, in anticipation of a good, lengthy, message to G-d.
My message was a bit of a disappointment. Instead of a long winded lecture about Jesus and the magic book, I said what was on my mind.
" Lord, thank you for letting us be here today".
What else do you need to say?


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