Tag Archives: Faith

A prayer for the mass-transit rider

Lord, protect us from those of brass voice and feather brain. Please keep those who chatter and bray from becoming our seatmate. If worse comes to worse and we are forced into proximity, let us have patience enough not to succumb to the temptation to deal out physical violence or even snappy remarks, however much the fool may deserve to be corrected. Though we are tempted also to pray for these people to be struck with laryngitis, let us understand that karma decrees that we shall also be sickened after they breathe on us.

Lord, help us to accept that the best we can do is to ask for swift, safe travel to our destination, and to appreciate how blessed we are that we don’t have to live or work with these people. All this we pray in the mighty name of your son, Jesus Christ.

It’s never too early to show some grace

My cell phone rang at 2:45 this morning. Here’s how the conversation went:


“I’m pregnant.” (spoken by a woman in a husky voice)

“Who is this?”

“It’s me.”

“Who is me?”


“Who is calling please?” (I am getting steamed now.)

“Who is this?”

“Who are you calling?”

“Is this Irvin?”

“No, you have a wrong number and it’s the middle of the f*****g night.”

Whereupon I snapped the phone shut. I tried to settle down and get back to sleep, since I had to get up for work in a few hours. But once the anger faded, I began to feel sheepish. “Convicted,” as they say in church. I handled that badly, especially the cursing. This woman was clearly unhappy and wanted to talk to this Irvin character. If she really is pregnant (which given the way she said it, I tend to doubt), her agitation would be very understandable. If she was simply drunk and lonely, who am I to condemn her for lack of courtesy (and poor memory for phone numbers)? At least she was trying (badly, yes) to reach out to someone. I really want to try to handle it better next time something like this happens. I think it would be okay to gently point out that it’s 2:45 in the morning, but it would also be better for both of us to offer her some encouragement, to think beyond my own pique at being awakened.

I would have called her back, but she had her number blocked on Caller ID. So I will simply have to try to learn from my mistake and offer some grace next time someone needs it. Lord knows I have accepted enough for myself.