Just A Stupid Story of Prayer Answered in the nick of time.

I feel certain that some of you will find this brief autobiographical tale to be disgustingly sacrilegious or else just repulsive . Regardless of your view, I can assure you that God answered my prayers and for that I am grateful beyond measure. Regardless of the moral of my story, I do caution any reader who normally avoids seemingly or course subject matter that my story is distinctly grotesque.

It was Thursday, August 25th, 2016, and I had just briskly power walked approximately a mile and a quarter on the Green Way Trail, which is owned and maintained by the Jefferson City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation Department. I was at my half way point where I do a half rotation so as to make my return to my fathers’ home when the evil occurred within me. Starting with a small rumbling and then steadily and profoundly escalating, as if a sinister force was surrounded on me, an inner pressure suddenly and violently pressed on every course, curve and concave of my colons. It seemed as though smoldering reptile was squirming about in search for an escape.

Like most citizens of the United States of America, I am by no means a slim person. Happily I can state that although I am fat, I could never be described as obese. I can reasonably state that I am fifty pounds over weight and after completing the first leg of my exercise, my light grey t-shirt was a much deeper shade simply due to perspiration. The heat of August in Missouri is quite debilitating, and simply standing in the shade and smoking a skinny cigar, can cause one to break out in a sweat. Well, the internal strains from within and the external constraints that body thankfully automatically performed seemed to pump out quarter-sized balls of sweat once their presence was brought to my attention.

“Dear God Please Help Me!,” I whispered in a wraspy terrified voice.

My blue eyes must have been completely visible, as both stung intensely with the sweat dribbling off my forehead and past eye brows and lashes. I could only imagine lighting bolt-like, blood red lines encompassing my pupils as my eye lids slammed to a shut. I tried to find a dry spot on my shirt to wipe my eyes and thankfully I found a strip along my shorts. With my eyes regaining their normal feeling I immediately started full and complete return.

“Help me,” I said in an exhale.
“To the,” I added in an inhale.
“Man,” I continued in an exhale.
“Hole,” I finished my prayer to God in an an inhale.

Okay, there are innumerable things in this world that I am unaware of and as each of my days continue into the next, I become more educated in what I do not know. I cannot fathom a guess if the Dali Lama would condone my makeshift chant as a full blown mantra. I also have no idea if “Man Hole” is an urban, suburban, rural or internet slang term. However, “Man Hole” is my personal word for what had been an outhouse, or Johnny on the Spot, but in this distinctive case, I am referring to a clean, modern outhouse, which the Parks and Recreation Department maintained. There was a seat like an out house, but interestingly enough had sink with running water.

Regardless of the design of my vision of Garden of Eden, I focused on the trees that blocked my view of it while whispering, “Help me.”
“To the”
“Man.”
“Hole.”

“Oh dear God, I’m meditating like a Buddhist,” my inner mind scolded itself. “Please assist me in my defense if my Father ever learns of my interest in the Eastern Religions.” “Help me,” my mouth sloppily stated to myself. “To the.” Returning to my inner mind, I continued criticizing myself, “Oh Ted please, you’re a 49 year old man, and your bowels haven’t moved in past several weeks. Besides if you don’t turn into being an informer and rat on yourself, he’ll never know anyway.”

My version of the momentary Garden of Eden was gradually coming into sight, as I returned to my prayer. The tree trunks of slender oaks had built an impenetrable wall for my stare but as I neared it with each footstep I was able to see the red brick building. I slowly could see the porch from the extended roof of the Man Hole which had drinking fountains. No inner debate was possible as my stayed riveted to the Man Hole.

It seemed as my nose and lips were completely focused on this building as I said
“Help me; To the; Man; Hole”.

I pulled the dark brown painted metal door open. I staggered toward the metal hole, which stood two and half feet above the ground and had its’ seat already in place as the door clanged to a shut. Due to my emergency conditions, I didn’t wait to lock the door. My shorts were off in less than a millisecond, and as my bare buttock landed on the seat. A force that of a fire hose drowning some protest charged out of my backside. At the same time, my eyes flew straight up and I gasped after seeing a crisp canopy of cob webs which seemed to be an insect-like version of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

“Thank you, Lord Jesus!!!” bellowed from every cavity of my lungs, as thunderous undertones blasted and lurched from my underside.
If not before but at least now, I am certain that most if not all readers are wondering what wonderful morals I have in sharing this story.
>First, God does answer some prayers affirmatively and quickly.
>Second, one should always thank God once your prayer is answered..
>Third, I doubt that I can find many research sources to support my view, but regardless I’ll share it here. I am a Christian of the Catholic persuasion, and I personally doubt that God the Father, Jesus his only son, or the Holy Spirit, would mind me using a Buddhist prayer vehicle, since my mind was for the most part focused on Jesus and my prayer was answered. So just pray, if you need some help.
>Lastly and one that any atheist or agnostic could argue with, is a point that is the true origin of my emergency. Even if your 49 years old, do not eat countless numbers of prunes from your father’s fridge and then go on a two-and half mile power walk.

Asking Dumb Questions

What do you want me to do?

“Well God, I don’t know what you want me to do, where you want me to be, or what you want you want me to say half the time, use me however you want..”

My eyes were squinting hard as I stared at the morning sun and repeated my favorite self-composed prayer, and with an overly dark tone stated, “Everything I do is wrong.  I just wish you could fill me with some urge, concern, or job that I could put all of my endeavors into and succeed at.  I don’t want to be on food stamps and living in public housing with a host of medical problems paid for by Medicaid.    I took another drag off one of my nasty cigars that came three in a pack for a dollar.

Still staring at the sun just making its way over the tree line in my backyard, I whispered, “Look God, you want me to quit smoking, I will. Just give me a sign. Tell me and I’ll do it.”

Since I was a kid I would stare at the sun and actually talk, speak to God, after I heard that some Native American tribe would give a feather to a young guy if he could focus on the sun for an hour.  Forty years later, I’m quite certain that this legend is more of a fairy tale, but when it comes to my spiritual practice it does make my prayers seem extremely real.  

My apartment house was midway down a steep valley with ten to twenty pine trees lining the top of the hill, and as the base of the sun inched over the trees, I softly said, “I’m pretty sure there is no commandment on smoking, but I’ll open the Bible to see what comes up.”

I went into my apartment and cut through the kitchen with coffee still brewing and entered my living room.  I had a coffee table that were formed out of four pallets that I sanded and stained.  This was the best that money did not need to buy.  It came complete with little cubby holes where I could hide a variety of things. I sat on an almost identical rectangular love seat-like pallet couch.  These were half the size of a normal pallet I reached down and grabbed a paperback Bible I had since going on a high school retreat.  It was coated with packing tape on the outside with some tape on the inside.  I had not misused it or disrespected it. Just through general use, it needed to be kept from falling apart.

Looking for divine intervention by randomly opening the Bible seems like a pretty dumb idea to me, but I figured, what the heck, may as well give it a try.  Flipping through the New Testament I opened the pages and my eyes landed on:

   “Do not be fooled. ‘Bad companions ruin good character.’ Come back to your right senses and stop your sinful ways. I declare to your shame that some of you do not know God.”

                               1 Corinthians 13-15

I looked up at the ceiling since I was inside, and said, “This out of context, right?”

I placed my Bible on the table softly and pushed myself off the makeshift couch.  I poured myself some coffee and grabbed a cigar before stepping outside again.  I just stared silently at the sun for about a minute.

“I don’t need the Bible to tell me that doing something that is going to kill me in the end is nothing but a slow form of suicide.  What I need is some faith.”