the mess of an answered prayer

Do you ever pray for clarity? Or maybe just scrunch your eyes and hope for it hard, if you’re more secularly inclined? I do. Quite a bit. Mainly because I’m almost always clodding along in some murk or other, my poor, pointy head piled with dust bunnies that fog my sight and clog my thinking. Wait, correct that. Put quotes around “thinking.” Because what I’m actually doing is “feeling.”

So I’m always asking the Almighty for some handy-dandy clarification on some matter or other. I sent up one such request a few weeks ago, and while I won’t go into the specifics, the gist of it was: HELLOOOO, LORD! WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON, HERE?! I’M SORTA KINDA CONFUSED! THANKS AND LOVE, AMY!

The Lord replied in no uncertain terms, and in a manner I did not particularly enjoy, over the course of several days. The celestial public address system blared out loud and clear: HELLOOOOO, AMY! HERE IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS. IT MIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A BIT OF AN ASSHOLIC AND CLUELESS BOOB FOR A BIT OF A WHILE, BUT DON’T WORRY, YOU’LL FEEL BETTER IN THE END! HAVE FUN! HOPE YOU ENJOY IT! LOVE, GOD!

And in the end, it helped. I did find my clarity. I came out the sunny other side of a long, winding, dark, malodorous, garbage-strewn tunnel, and if it seems to you I might be describing a voyage through an alimentary canal, you’re absolutely right. At its conclusion I felt as though I had taken a really big dump.

I felt lighter. I felt free. I wept with gratitude and thanked the Lord. I’m not kidding about that part. I did both those things.

The whole experience served to remind me that God — or the universe, if, again, that’s where your faith lies — isn’t exactly prissy when it comes to helping out. Prayer dissemination isn’t quick n’ smooth, like some lofty milkshake that’s made at our request. (HI, LORD, IT’S AMY AGAIN. COULD YOU PUT AN EXTRA SCOOP IN THAT? AND MAYBE A SQUIRT OF CHOCOLATE SYRUP? THANKS!) More often, it’s a right mess; and when the object is clarity, we’re really in for it. The answered prayer can be a hard-fought battle, littered with misunderstandings and emotional complications of the sort we like to avoid.

And in the middle of it, I generally send up another prayer, either a sarcastic THANKS FOR THAT or an inquisitive IS THIS SOME IDEA OF A JOKE? One of the things that most amazes is me is that God never reaches down and cuffs the back of my head with an irritated grunt. I suppose, being omnipotent and secure about it, the Almighty can take my snotty back-talk without resorting to whoop-ass.

Anyway, it all worked out. Clarity achieved! But as the old saw goes, be careful what you wish for. You might get it, it might take longer than expected, and you’ll probably need a flashlight before it’s over.

4 thoughts on “the mess of an answered prayer

  1. Thank you Amy. I took some earthly snotty back talk today from youth in my charge for biblical instruction and I really struggled with how much whoop ass the disrespect required. I’m trying to find two things with my flashlight: 1) how can I do a better job of relying on patience in such circumstances and 2) what is He trying to tell me in the meantime? It He’s not irritated with me, maybe I shouldn’t be so irritated with them. Good. Thanks again. Can prolly sleep now.

  2. Just wanted to say that your line, “Or maybe just scrunch your eyes and hope for it hard, if you’re more secularly inclined? ” made me laugh out loud, which is always needed on a Monday morning when procrastinating at getting at my paid work. Thanks.

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