A Prayer

A PrayerDear God, I am not sure you are there…but if you are: please spare my children of pain and suffering. Not the pain we experience when things we desire go wrong but the pain and suffering that occur when you fight for survival. I am afraid that the world and people will not be kind to them. Sometimes I think that the things might go very wrong in the future. I know that you told us not to be afraid of what will happen tomorrow but sometimes I do.

I am grateful for these holidays I spent mostly in quiet without doing a lot. For the wild sea waves that accompanied few mornings in the café on an island. For the Greek middle-aged waitress that did not speak much of English but always welcomed me with a motherly smile as if she was happy to see me again. Probably she was. There was always only an elderly couple playing cards, a motorcyclist and me there early in the morning.

I thank you for the large family I have. For all the members who are peculiar, strange and crazy in a way as we all are. For their smile, presence or absence, for their stories I heard many times before. Thanks for their anger and silence. Thank you for their laughter. For their passion whether it is gardening, vine producing, photograph taking, jogging, talking stories, serving me my favourite herb liqueur, cooking, obsessing about the security or cleanliness.

I thank you for my girl-friends and the friendship I keep since so long. They are different, so special, so beautiful as women with children, careers, family lives, crises and successes. Doubting and questioning themselves whether they are good mothers, lovers, employees, sisters, wives, daughters. They are not perfect but they are genuine, non-judgemental, caring and encouraging as if the 4 years in college or 4 years at workplace we spent together were more than growing up together.

I thank you also for my colleagues I met just recently and who want to know how am I, how my mum goes…The colleagues who send me paintings they create and photos they take not because they want to be envied (maybe just praised ) but because we simply share our happy moments together even if we are apart and far away.

I thank you for my friends who create the community in the foreign country I live in and thus make me feel almost like home.

I thank you for my enemies – the real ones or those whom I created myself. I guess they play their role, reminding me of the fact that I cannot and I need not to be loved by everybody. Please forgive me if I call them names occasionally and also that I feel very ok calling them names.

I thank you for my mum who is so strong in her illness, not complaining about the injustice of the fate. I am happy that she still works in her garden when she can, cooks our favourite meals, plays with my children, discusses with me men, fashion, kids, inevitable women chores, corrects me if I am too sensitive and lets me be ME. She has some flaws but I love not to see or hear them. (You know the story of retired people discussing details on the phone with strangers doing polls…cut it short please mum, will you? And the story of Italian series where Giacomo meets Francesca and they are so passionate but there is this horrid Bella who messes up the relationship….cut it short, please mum.)

I want to tell you that I am strong but tired. Can you please do something about it? Like making me going to bed early? Like preventing me not to travel around the whole capital to get the sleeping gown I liked so much in one shop but my size was sold out? Like not uselessly observing my wrinkles in between my eyes and asking myself if Botox was reserved only for models and desperate women? Like studying more what I need to study and not thinking about other stuff? Like not being a bit bored when my son talks about Minecraft and my daughter explains in all tiny details what happened with a girl called Myriam I even do not know? Like making me smarter so I do not feel lost when people discuss Palestine, refugees, finances, apps, online dating etc…?

I guess you must be tired too. So many people out there asking you to act or not to act. So many people doubting your existence and even more people doing very strange things to prove that you are somewhere we might end up if we believe the right things. I have always thought I know what is right and wrong. I try to teach that my children. But what if my values will be not compatible with theirs at one point?

Dear God, the older I get the more questions I have. The older I get I realize that I do not believe in all things I believed when I was younger. The older I get the more compromising I become. The older I get I become softer in some ways and on the other hand I develop stronger boundaries. It is perhaps confusing but I am not confused. Please give me patience with myself and others. Give me strength to continue in times I feel weak. Please help those who struggle to find their way. Please give me the eyes of a child that are able to rejoice every day and the memory of a child that forgets fast the misfortune. Do not be angry if I think occasionally that people talk to you only because there is nobody else to talk to. Or that nobody else would be ready to hear all we want to say.

I thank you that you do not respond instantly because I need to be listened to. I thank you that you do not respond at all because it shows me that I am the only one responsible for that matter.

I do not think you are ideal, flawless and perfect even though the scriptures tell us so. This would prevent me from complaining and being angry with you once in a time. I imagine you quite humanly like grinning a bit at stubbornness we present at certain moments or laughing when we do something really silly like stealing wall nuts from a tree in a neighbouring garden. I do not know how to end this prayer because I was taught how to do it but what if you want to hear something else for a change?

Take me as I am, here and now, with all my pain, secrets, wishes, desires, fears, doubts, wrongdoings and good acts and please grant me peace. Amen.



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