Sunday, August 26, 2012

BlogElul: Prayer

This will probably contradict my other blog posts thus far, but I love prayer. I love the communal connection and the time for personal reflection. It's also one of the few times of the day where I don't feel any pressure to be doing anything out of my comfort zone- I just need to be.

When I was in 5th grade my life was turned upside down when my Mom was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease- the same type of cancer that killed her father when she was young. I don't think I really understood what was going on- people kept asking me how I was doing, how my Mom was doing and looking at me kind of funny. She was put on our synagogue's mi shebeirach list. The week after she was diagnosed I remember making my Dad take me to services. I needed to be in the only place that really felt like home- like normal. It was there where I felt safe and, when hearing my Mom's name, it was okay to cry.

I don't really think that prayer changes the outcome of peoples' illness. If that were the case, a lot more people I knew would still be alive today. Why does prayer matter then? I think that prayer is most effective for the caregivers and those thinking about the person actually sick. Prayer makes those people praying for others stronger, more connected to their support system. The concept of something like a Mi Shebeirach list is also a reminder for the community to check in with the family and friends of the person who is sick, in addition to visiting the loved one who is actually ill.

While I pray that all of my loved ones stay off of my mi shebeirach list, I hope that those who do find themselves in need also find a community ready to embrace them.

"Prayer cannot bring water to parched field, nor mend a broken bridge, nor rebuild a ruined city. But prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart or rebuild a weakened will."

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe this was a life changing event for you based on how you have chosen to live a life without your family. Really hard to understand.