God Willing

I use Nordic Sticks when I take my walks.  They keep my knees from wobbling and give me stability.  I can walk long distances and they are comforting.  I follow the Santa Rosa Creek trails.  You know, those horrible things that we do with taxes, preserving creeks, ecosystems and creating a treasure for generations.  Anyway.

A green Saturn passes me, turns to the right and stops.  A young blond, fresh looking twenty something woman gets out of the car and walks up to me with flip-flops –she is having a rough time in the uneven road.

I say hello, she looked a bit nervous and then asks:

” Are you totally blind, or partially blind ? ”

I am puzzled, then I realize she confused the Nordic Walking sticks for a white cane, my sunglasses probably added to the confusion.

“No, I am not blind, I am using two sticks, blind people use one stick and it’s usually white, ”  I answer, I remember we learned that in driver’s education back in the seventies.

“Oh, ahem, I thought you were blind, I am such a fan of god, I wanted to tell you that I will be praying for you.” awkward silence.

She meant well.  She wanted to do something good. She wanted to let me know that she is doing, or intending to do something good.

Then I wondered about this simple young woman and her good will.  Someone told her that prayer was the way to god.  Prayer was the path to goodness.  Ask god, don’t take action, don’t use your free will.  Her innocent, yet very naïve world view, reminded me of how retrograde America is similar to retrograde in other times and places.

It’s not bad, it’s just so naïve.  Somehow, the lessons of 20th century citizenship passed her and the ones like her by.   Unaware that blind Americans don’t need prayers, they need services and rights.

We could all use a prayer from time to time, but we cannot live by them.  It reminded me of the Arabic saying ” Insha’Allah”, god willing, or my mother’s :  ” Αν θέλει ο Θεός”:  if god wants.  God, had nothing to do with it, I wanted to go to the party.

In 21st century America, I forget that a large segment of Americans, have given up on free will, choice, democratic action, citizenship, human rights and all the noble rights of the enlightenment, for a nice comforting passive place of ” God willing”.  Matter of fact, last week, they had a rally with television personalities, wishing to go back to the naïve times, the old times, before freedom and free will were a burden.

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8 thoughts on “God Willing

  1. I’m going to tag this into the continuing conversation that I have been having with Lisa (daughter) and others about this for years. Needless to say, we have similar thoughts.

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  3. Had to read what you had written with such a strange collection of tags! Like when you are given a set of words and have to write a story to link them. Prayer’s fine as far as it goes but she seems to be overlooking the fact that the answer to prayer is often in our hands. Without us as His instruments nothing can change.

  4. To all the gawd fearing folks that think having somebody offer unsolicited “prayers” for you is a good thing I’d like to say, bullshit. Been there, done that and it is insulting as hell.

    You see I’ve had people tell my late wife and me that they were praying for us because we were committing the sin of homosexuality. Yup. We were guilty of the horrible sin of loving each other and those good xian folks were praying in our behalf. To them and to you I say: Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want your prayers, I don’t want you condescension and I DO want you to get the hell out of my life.

    I’d imagine most sightless/low vision people would feel the same way (the two I know sure as hell do) regardless of all of our limited spiritual experience and knowledge.


  5. Excellent as always, Clio. I always counter “God will provide” with “God helps those who help themselves.” If you believe in God (you know I don’t), it seems that you would want to use all of your god-given gifts–including intellect, reason, and problem-solving.

  6. I think that people who do this do it because they want to feel good about themselves, not because they truly care, which is why they don’t really give any thought to what they are doing.

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