A Prayer for the Divorcing….

Before I start the real subject of this journal post, let me add a couple of little bits which relate to the last one about “flatlining the force test”. It was already looking quite long so I chose not to add these little bits at the time. But, as you may recall, that story started with my pain in the chest and arrhythmia.

First, the “pain in the chest”: some years ago I got a sudden pain in the chest and thought I should go see the doctor and explained I had a pain in the chest, having said I thought I might have pulled something, or torn something (didn’t think it was a heart attack). He looked thoughtful for a minute and said “Aha, you have pleurodynia, when you get home take some pain-killers and you’ll be OK.” Actually I am not sure he said “Aha…” but…

Anyway, I went home thinking I had a recognisable affliction, so I thought I should look it up to see what I had got and the dictionary, for Pleurodynia, said I had…. mmm, you guessed it… a “pain in the chest”! Good of the doc to tell me back what I had told him!

The other little tid-bit I omitted was that the cardiologist prescribed a “beta-blocker” for my arrhythmia. So when I got home I looked these up on Google, too, of course. There was an article about them (beta-blockers) which suggested some athletes and others took them for performance purposes and one group where they were used for non-medical purposes was for musicians who get nervous when performing in public. The comment that struck me was from one violinist who had taken them for nerves. He said this….

“The BEST thing about beta-blockers is that you just feel as though you are playing for yourself in the living-room at home! BUT, the WORST thing about them is that you just feel as though you are playing for yourself in the living-room at home”. The inference being that perhaps you NEED a few nerves to provide the adrenalin, or whatever it is that gives a musical performance its public brilliance! I cannot say they have made my keyboard playing any better or worse??!

Anyway, back to my story for THIS post…

Most of you will, of course, know that I am not religiously affiliated (far from it in fact) but Fatima is, so when we married last year, as well as the civil ceremony on the Friday, we had a do in the church Fatima attends, the next day. The wedding service there was conducted by the Pastor, David, a guy in his forties with a cheery demeanour and a nice sense of humour and a nice line in Italian styling when he’s at his posh best.

About eight or nine years ago in another “parish” he had performed a wedding ceremony and this particular couple have recently been struggling with marital problems, so, I suppose as a matter of courtesy they rang David to tell him that they were now going to have to get divorced. He said “Well, that is good that you told me, because I have just been working on a new prayer for people who are getting divorced! Come on over and let’s pray about it”.

Somewhat surprised about this, the couple went to talk with David and told him the divorce process was imminent. So he said, “Let us pray together now and I will use my new prayer!”

He got down on his knees and invited them to kneel as well…. In fact it was really more of an instruction! “Kneel here in front of me….” And, so saying, he placed a blessing hand on each of their heads as they knelt there. And started to Pray… it went something like this….

“Dear Lord, as you will see I have with me two of your flock, good people who have lately been having problems, my Lord, and I want to ask for your help and succour for them. It is not so long since I officiated at their wedding and as you heard them at the time, oh Lord, they faithfully promised to be married and care for each other, in sickness and in health and so on…until death did them part.”

“They are good people, oh Lord, and I am sure they mean no harm in wanting to divorce and they are having problems….”

The couple were fascinated by the fact David was ok to pray with them about the divorce, so I guess they were feeling relaxed as the prayer went on, with David’s blessing hand upon their heads…. And, so , he continued his prayer…

“Oh Lord, I am sure these children of yours are good people and do not wish to break their solemn vows, so I need to ask for your help, oh Lord. They promised to look after each other until death do them part. So, my Lord, I am going to have to ask you to KILL them now, either both of them or at least one of them…..”

At this point the man decided that was enough and tried to get up but discovered that David’s hand was not just blessing him – but strongly holding him down….

“Oh Lord,” David continued to pray, “they are good, faithful, people so if you can manage a pain-free heart attack, so they can keep their sacred vow about death parting them, I am sure they would feel much better about the idea of divorcing causing them to break their promises. Probably, oh Lord, giving BOTH of them a heart attack at the same time would also prevent them suffering the loss of their partners but enable them to keep their promises to you….”

I am not sure how long the prayer went on, or how much they struggled to get out from under David’s blessed hands, but it is reported that there was no immediate answer from God and neither was struck down, so I am sure they talked with David afterwards about the effectiveness of his new “Prayer for the Divorcing”. Perhaps God, in Her wisdom, decided striking them down immediately was not the thing to do, it might rather spoil David’s reputation as a nice guy?!

Whatever…., the prayer seems to have had an interesting by-product, in that the couple are still together and as far as the story goes, the divorce process has been shelved, at least for the time being.

Who knows, David’s “Prayer for the Divorcing” might just catch on, it seems harmless enough. And, from my point of view, the story doesn’t prove God exists, unless, of course, you elicit blind faith, in which case it goes to show that God works in mysterious ways. The choice, of course, is up to you!

It DOES go to show that David has a great sense of humour – and is, probably, a pretty good counsellor, too.

Postscript:

Since writing this post, I have discovered that I have misunderstood the story as it was told to me, so let me apologise because it was NOT our Pastor David, it was another colleague of his who WORKS in the other “parish” (not quite sure if ‘parish’ is the correct word for Brazil?) Rather than change the whole story, I hope everyone will be OK with this Postscript apology….??

About Keith Melton - Green Lib Dem

Retired English liberal environmentalist living in Nottinghamshire; spent six years in Brazil. Author of Historical Novel - Captain Cobbler: the Lincolnshire Uprising 1536. Active member of the Green Liberal Democrats - (pressure group in Liberal Democrats) - was Founding Chair of GLD in 1988
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1 Response to A Prayer for the Divorcing….

  1. Pat Chapman says:

    I love the prayer for the divorcing, Keith!! Wonderful story. No it doesn’t prove God exists, but it shows David got some wisdom from somewhere (as well as a sense of humour).

    By the way, can you email me. I think I’ve got an incorrect address for you.

    Pat Chapman

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