Monday, July 28, 2008

When I Talk To God

We don't talk as frequently as we should.

Nor, do I spend as much time on the conversation as I spend on playing video games on my Playstation 3.

But, when we talk, it means something to me.

I've gone from a rote recital of the prayers handed down to me by my parents, to actually talking to God about what's on my heart. I've cried in prayer, I've laughed too. Revelations have come to me on my knees in my bedroom, or driving in my car.

My conversations with God often sustain me and remind me of what my purpose is.

But, most importantly, my conversations with God are private. Nobody has to know what I reveal to him. Nobody has to know what burdens and evil I carry in my heart. I can let all things spill forth from my mind to his ear, and only he will hear them.

Only him.

I can't imagine what if would be like if the whole world was privy to my prayers. If everyone got to analyze what I discussed with my Creator. It's one of the reasons I can't imagine being Barack Obama.

Even his prayers aren't private anymore.

This goes beyond the bounds of acceptable curiosity or press freedom. Some might argue that Obama stuffed a note into a public wall; what type of privacy did he really expect? If he didn't want people looking into his prayer life, he should confine his prayers to his home and leave the public displays of religion to others.

That mindset is insane.

I don't care how public a figure somebody becomes, the general rules of human decency require us to allow them some private space. I can't think of an area more private than your conversations with God. For those who would characterize Obama's visit to The Wailing Wall as just another publicity stunt, I would direct them to read the private missive he wrote to God again.

"Protect my family and me."

"Forgive me my sins and help me guard against pride and despair."

"Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just."

"Make me an instrument of your will."

That is a sincere prayer. That is a prayer someone prays when they know God. Look at him ask God for protection for his family first, before he wonders about his own safety. Look at how he acknowledges his own sins, while asking God to prevent him from rising too high or falling too low. He asks for wisdom and then tells the Lord, "Your will be done."

In my heart, this seems like a genuine request of God. A message left in a place long designated as holy. It wasn't written to gain brownie points, it wasn't created to make the masses love him more. It was written because Obama had something he needed to say to the Lord.

The people who violated this private moment need to spend some more time talking to God themselves.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a tiny little teeny tip with all due respect to the poster: when referring to God, you should capitalize He and His :) Also out of curiosity: are these conversations you have spoken aloud or just in your head? I'm always curious how people pray.

I'm an atheist myself so this is kind of just an outsider's observation, but that letter sounds kind of like a letter to Santa Claus. Not that I care, just sayin'.

Okay I'm done being a jerk.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I'm sad that we think that as a public figure you must give up all privacy. I mean really what happen to the days when there were some things that we just kept private, because they really were not our business.

It is a sincere prayer for sure!

-OG

Big Man said...

Anon

thanks for the tip on he and him. you're right, but i'll leave it the way it is.


And it's interesting you equate God to Santa Claus. I'm sure you meant that they are both fictional characters that intelligent adults gave up on long ago. But, to me it's funny that you equate God with a jolly white man who gives out presents. Very revealing.

MCBias said...

Now that I think of it, there is a part of Obama that does seem prone to despair. The prayer is an honest one, tells us something we didn't really know about the man...and thus it's a complete shame it was published.

jelana said...

I am black and I don't see God as a white man, but I do understand the comparison to Santa Claus or vice versa. That said, it was despicable that Obama's prayer was stolen, much more so since it was stolen by a seminary student. The newspaper should not have printed it, but it was a sincere and beautiful prayer!

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there,

I believe that Obama HAD TO have known that the media would be trailing every thing he did and the there was a POSSIBILITY that the note would be found... I do not believe that he wrote it without ever considering that if he (a black presidential candidate) left a note there that it would never be touched... please...he knows that the church is not sacred space...he went to Trinity United where there were whites threatening to BOMB their church because Dr. Wright told the truth about the shady tactics of the U.S. government in their dealings with other governments....

Obama KNEW that there was a possibility... I believe he wrote his prayer KNOWING it could possibly be printed...

He's a politician extraordinaire... he had ALL of you thinking that he wrote that without ANY thought that it would be printed...

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Big Man,

I think you might have misread what I wrote.

I did not compare God to Santa Claus, I compared the letter's style to a Santa Claus wish-list letter's style. Had Obama's letter been something that sounded like a shopping list, I would have compared its style to that of a shopping list.

Thusly, I did not compare God to Santa Claus at all, which would have indeed been insulting... and which could have also been taken to mean that I might think that God is WHITE, which I think is quite a stretch IMHO.

And even if you had been correct about my meaning-- it's not very nice of you to say that that this is "revealing" about me, to jump to that conclusion. What I _think_ you mean there is that you believe my view of God to be that of a white man, which of course means that I'm racist.

I think you owe me an apology :)

Yes I'm the same anon who's been haunting this blog, muahahahaha :) What's the fun of a blog if you're not challenged by readers, eh?

Deacon Blue said...

I agree with Lisa that he had to known the possibility existed, but I still think he didn't think it was LIKELY to happen. There's too much history of other politicians doing the same visit to the Wall, either for publicity purposes or to pay respect...or both.

I think that knowning it COULD happen, he would obviously refrain from an inflammatory prayer or an obviously public relations crafted one that would advance an agensa.

But there is still something that seems awfully sincere about the prayer, so I would rather err on the side of giving Obama credit for a spiritual move and not a PR-related one with that prayer. Look, I even gave Dubya the benefit of the doubt for the first couple years that he actually was trying to work with God driving his actions.
;-)

WNG said...

I don't care whether he wrote the note FOR the TV cameras. Something is seriously wrong in this country.
Something is rotting here when the debate is over whether or not he was sincere in the prayer. A seminary student - who is supposed to be learning how to bring people to GOD just stole a prayer.

That's low. Disgustingly low. The paper that paid for it is low and the editor who decided to print it is low.

Big Man said...

Anon

You thinking that God was comparable to Santa Claus doesn't have anything to do with being a racist. That's not what I found revealing.

What I found interesting was that as an atheist, you read the prayer, and thought it was like a letter to Santa. You thought it was like a wishlist that Obama wanted God to fulfill. I've found that many atheists view Christians as "children" who are constantly looking to "God" to fulfill their hopes and desires instead of getting out and working on their own. Of course, this is completely erroneous, but it's still a commonly held view by many people who do not believe in God.

So, I thought your comment revealed that type of mindset. I could be wrong, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I am, but that's what I took from your comparision. It had nothing to do with calling you a racist.

Deacon Blue said...

WNG, every time I think a media outlet has gone as low as is humanly possible, one of them goes lower. I've ceased to even be surprised. I've resigned myself to the inevitability much like I've resigned myself to the plague of reality TV
:-P

Anonymous said...

OK Big Man, but still, I was comparing the STYLE, not the content. Like I said, if it had been written to sound like, say, a technical specification then I would have compared it to that. I was trying to make a joke, I guess.

Apologies if you felt I was mocking faith. Well actually, I'm not sorry but I'm sorry I offended you, who am I to tell people of faith it's silly? I just don't understand faith, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing :) You better believe the campaign knew the letter would be taken and published, this campaign leaves absolutely nothing to chance. Even if it is a sincere letter, which I'm sure it is, I am 100% certain that they ran it by 8 different clergy folks from different faiths and denominations to make sure Sean Hannity can't pick at something and make him seem anti-this or anti-that. All very carefully calculated. Mind you they'd be fools to NOT do this.

Big Man said...

Some of y'all are real suspicious. I read the letter and from everything I've seen about Obama it appeared to be a prayer he would say.

sdg1844 said...

I ehar what Lisa is saying. His intent is irrelevant. I'm sure he knows that eyes are upon him always.

Doesn't mean the prayer wasn't sincere. The REAL ISSUE is the clown who took it and had it published.

We all know Obama is a politician, but he's also a human being and I'm getting irritated by folks who act is if anyone who supports him is naive and stupid.

It needs to stop. It's condescending in the extreme.

Anonymous said...

Why do people think God is White? God is JEWISH. God is three persons, including the Son who was the Word made flesh, and the holy spirit. So if you're going to identify God with any ethnic background you need to check yourself and realize the only comparison is that of a jew 2000 years ago. It's too bad hollywood always picks these blue eyed beautiful people when the reality is don't nobody know what he looked like feature wise. Complexion wise, it's obvious.

Raving Black Lunatic