Thursday, December 05, 2013

On Endurance and "praying without ceasing"

Every once in a while I find my deepest self again. It's a kind of stalwart mlancholy that is quite distinct from the depression I've been enduring because of my illness and my son's illness. The melancholy is mixed with wanderlust, a desire for anarchy and the breakdown of the world systems, and a hatred for the suffering that is part of life.

So I'm writing a YA novel called "My Life as an Onion" I've been writing it for ages because I want it to say what I've always wanted to say in a novel...in a direct non-fantastical way: that life is a hard thing.

But Onion has always walked on a kind of sharp spiritual edge. The tone -- and the feelings of recollection and loss-- in the first-person narration urges me to be sad. Not only sad but nihilistic. For lack of an Anglo-American word, it contains "han." The Asian --primarily Korean-- concept of separation/loss

I'm listening to Korean OSTs right now. I know the meanings of the lyrics but the tunes have that sense of Han. There is something wonderful about listening to a sad song in another language -- because one doesn't know the words, one can pour all one's griefs and unspoken  deepest fears, sorrows, and loss into the song.

Check out this one: Isn't it haunting? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiIu-utK_lc Loss is written all over the tune. And this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqNzB3A8jmU IF you listening without knowing the words, wow....grief, loss, sorrow.

But I digress.

This post is about: Praying without ceasing.
St Paul tells us to do this and in the past some extreme folks thought it meant never stop praying for a single moment. Others thought it meant to make it a habit to cultivate habitual daily prayer in a general sense. But I'm thinking it might mean never cease praying for what you want. Never give up on God.

Maybe it's just spiritual integrity, like people who must protest even though they feel nothing will come out of it. But maybe it's like Jesus' command: "Ask, keep on asking; seek, keep on seeking; knock, keep on knocking.

But why pray? At age 54 --yep, today is my birthday-- I feel I should come to the end of end--uring. I feel I should say "But the world says, but the statistics are against you, but what you're asking for is ridiculously impossible..................so accept that your son will never be healed, accept that although God is good and kind and Christ as conquered sickness, accept that although God is quite willing and able and ready to heal you...it just ain't gonna happen. Although you have prayed, and fasted, and done good deeds, and affirmed, and given to the poor, and suffered, and loved your neighbors and written Bible studies, you will be like so many other countless Christians whose prayers were never answered and who died loving their Lord neverthelesss. And really, Carole, isn't that enough? 
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