It’s me again. I know it’s been a while since my last prayer, so I don’t blame you if you choose not to listen to a hopeless sinner like me.
The truth is, I’m just not a very great guy. I wish I had a better excuse than this, but I don’t. And if I offered you a better excuse, you’d know I was lying.
I’m slothful, plain and simple. I have bad habits. Sometimes I don’t do the right thing. And oftentimes, I just plum forget to pray.
The reason for this is because I grew up in a Baptist fundamentalist household. My mother forced me to pray each night at gunpoint. We uttered morbid prayers that struck terror into the hearts of children.
I prayed each night, for instance, that if the Rapture were to occur, and Gabriel blew his trumpet, that I wouldn’t be left behind. I prayed this every night, without exception. I was terrified that if I wasn’t taken in the Rapture, I’d be left here on earth to suffer with all the Methodists.
And then there was the prayer Granny made me memorize. “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.” There has never been a more sadistic prayer than this childhood classic.
“Now I lay me down to sleep,
“I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
“If I should die before I wake,
“It’s because I was a bad little boy and I truly deserved to be asphyxiated in my sleep.”
My wife. Now there’s a true prayer warrior. She keeps a handwritten list. Every night before supper, my wife prays for each person she’s ever met since third grade.
My wife prays for everyone. From the Vietnamese exchange student she met in preschool, to former U.S. president Bill Clinton.
I have a difficult time staying alert during her suppertime prayers. My head sinks lower with each passing word, until eventually my forehead is on the table and our food has developed a thin layer of frost on the surface
But me? I’m just not a devout guy.
I know, I know. I should beat myself up about this. But I’m tired of beating myself up.
I’ve been beating myself up for years because I’ve never been what everyone else thinks I should be. I’m a disappointment to a lot of people.
I’m an abject failure in so many areas of my life. I’m a hick. An academic shipwreck. I am a lazy guy. If I had a third hand, I’d need a third pocket to put it in.
I am unfocused. Disorganized. Dyslexic. A dropout. Borderline stupid. I do not make my bed, sometimes for days on end, until my wife threatens to marry the plumber.
And do you know something else, God? Right now, as I write this prayer, I am not kneeling or tucked away in a prayer closet. Do you know what I’m doing? I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I am drinking beer.
It’s not even quality beer. It’s Pabst Blue Ribbon. Because it was on sale at Walmart for $17.98 per case.
So again, I don’t blame you if you don’t listen to my beseechment. You have every right.
If you were inclined to receive an imploration from an idiot like me, here is my request:
Please help a little girl named Andie Kate. I recently saw a picture of her on Facebook. This happened after I had just settled down to begin writing.
There I was. I had intended to write something completely different. I had just opened a beer, and started tapping away on my keyboard when I saw this sweet girl on my computer screen.
Andie Kate Mason is a 4-year-old from Daphne, Alabama. She has B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She has undergone procedure after procedure. Invasive treatments. Skin grafts. Spinal chemo. You name it.
I started crying when I watched a video of Andie Kate relearning how to walk in the corridors of the hospital. I wept when I read about how her family has fought.
I know you’re up there, God. I know you’re listening. And even though this prayer is coming from the lips of a failed human being like me, help this child. Do your thing, Lord. Prove to everyone what you’re capable of. Don’t do it because I asked. Do it because Andie Kate Mason is your baby.
Very truly yours,
—A hopeless sinner
Gigi22 - March 15, 2023 11:15 am
Praying for Andie Kate🙏💕
B.J. Bearski (@b_bearski) - March 15, 2023 11:20 am
Dale - March 15, 2023 12:09 pm
Straight to the heart of us all. First time I have read Sean’s writing. It’s good.
Janice McAnnally - March 15, 2023 12:25 pm
That’s a wonderful prayer, bless this little child.
So glad I found this today.
Debbie D., AL - March 15, 2023 1:22 pm
Prayers for precious Andie Kate! 💗
akayaya - March 15, 2023 2:55 pm
Amen. Praying for Andie Kate.
Cynthia Sand - March 15, 2023 2:57 pm
You know, dear Sean, you are a treasure, and just like all of us, broken. But that’s where the light gets in, right? Love all the watercolor drawings you include with your columns. I realize now that being a visual artist is another one of your gifts. You bless us each day with your heart, talent and nosy-ness. Never forget, you too are a beloved child of God. Amen.
Phil Phillips Jr - March 15, 2023 3:38 pm
Amen brother! My neice has a brain tomor she has has it for 14 years and she is the most Godly human. Her name is Bayleigh Phillips. Bayleigh has spoken to churches made an appearance for camp smile a mile at Auburn University, crew chief for a Barber GT event for Children’s Hospital, national spokes person for the pediatric brain tomor foundation etc etc. Bayleigh is an amazing inspiring person.
Ginny Andersen - March 15, 2023 3:53 pm
As ever, you hit the nail on the head with your prayer. I am so impressed with the artwork that you are including in your posts now. For all of your self-effacing talk, you have shown us yet another creative side to you and it is wonderful.
Cathy M - March 15, 2023 7:46 pm
Prayers have begun for Andie Kate. Sick children facing life threatening illnesses brings me to my knees. I pray that God will heal her and end her suffering. Will pray for her family as well because it hurts everyone in her family to see her struggle. I pray for their strength to face another day. Your heart is so tender but I am going to drive to Avondale and take drastic measures if you don’t stop putting yourself down. Don’t you see that you have a ministry? You lift people up every single day and speak to people’s hearts with your words. You are a word master. You are kind, you are smart and you are important. I have met you and you are darn handsome on top of every other good quality you possess. I don’t know which house is yours in Avondale but I have magic powers and I can find it. I am not kidding. Love you to the moon and I mean it❤️