[ Flaboromous Reader: printed out and sent by snail mail, including the image at top. ]
August 4, 2016
Hey there, Vince and Darcy!
Well this is awkward, my brother, as regards your printout sent to me. I googled “obamacare after 76” only to call up a ton of sites claiming this is a hoax that has been running around the Internet since 2009. But I already thought it might be, since the statement “make 20 copies and send to others” set off a little alarm in the back of my head. For this is a common phrase (or one similar) used in chain mail. Be that as it may, there are plenty of justified grievances against Obamacare that I see no reason to make anything up. Bad enough my own struggle to expose expanded Medicaid’s exorbitant share of cost as a death sentence to millions…only to be accused of being a liar and even a right-wing saboteur, by many. But there are folks out there who hear me, and appreciate my courage and efforts to bring out the truth despite difficult odds. So I am making headway.
Regarding my “No PrEP for the Poor” letter in the Castro Courier: the remarkable thing about their publishing it, is that rarely does a newspaper print a letter to the editor that is longer than two paragraphs. But if they really like what you have to say, they usually either pare it down themselves, or contact the author and request he do that himself. This may be vain to declare, but I like to think that whatever I have to say is important to the world, and that I’ve already condensed my essay in as few words as possible to the point where any further subtraction would be detrimental.
So when I send a letter out to this or that publication, I just don’t give a fuk whether or not they think the piece is too long. And, more often than not, I have my way. Besides, all my letters to editors are also posted to my WordPress blog (embellished with eye-catching images, as you already know), my Facebook wall, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn update, my Gay Bible site, and my emailing list.
I certainly hope someone is listening, regarding the import of my letter, and that it will reach and influence the proper channels to right this tragic wrong. But I have long ago concluded that belief in yourself should never be allowed to wither on the vine, simply because the results you seek from any effort are not fulfilled. Or better said: “are not apparent.” No matter how much you busted your cojones. For it is an absurd notion to believe that God does not answer all worthy prayers. Of course He does, just not in your own time, but His. Which leads me into the topic of what I think is the best way to pray:
Prayer is only effective when backed with action. Such as when you, Vince, show your kindness to neighbors by plowing snow from their driveways. But it is also good to set aside some time every night in silent, traditional prayer. Though I think many folks get this wrong…for in their praying they obsess over someone’s worst case scenario every time they kneel down to plead for God’s intercession. Here is what I think is a better way:
The first time you pray for someone suffering tragedy, I guess it’s okay to fantasize “what if” horrid outcomes. But really, worry does no one any good, it only causes further stress and spreads anxiety to others, including perhaps the person for whom you pray. Besides, it only shows one’s lack of faith that God does, indeed, fulfill all compassionate wishes. So after that first prayer–and every prayer thereafter–one ought to thank God ahead of time for answering your prayer. And in so thanking, place an image in your mind of that person’s recovery, and a joyful outcome all around. The rest is in God’s hands, and I assure you: those hands are Grace personified.
Tip straight from Gabriel’s mouth: humor is always a great balm to one who is suffering, when done with kindness.
Please allow me to clarify, though, by saying that, if you sometimes fall back into a worst-case scenario fear while you pray, by no means will God fail you in your time of grief. Nor will your heartfelt plea be any less heard for that. To believe otherwise is, simply, superstition. For praying should never be seen as appeasing God; it is, actually, your soul’s willful desire to share the cross of another. Even if you don’t pray, God know’s the ache in your heart, and is already on it, with the commission of his merciful angels.
It is easy to get bitter, especially if your prayer is not answered in the time you think due. Or “does not seem to be answered,” I should say. For I have found that prayers are oftentimes answered in secret, even to the one who prays. And that is why I know I’ve done a good thing with my letter to the editor…with all my letters to the editor over the years. And why I thank God for answering every one of them, although I may not discern the outcome in this lifetime.
Yet I have been blessed from time to time, with a prayer here or a prayer there, being answered rather quickly, and which I witness with my own eyes. Most recently, regarding my adventures with Zach…but also with Larkin.
My sincerest prayers are with Darcy, that her arthritis clear up promptly. And that she find a long term solution towards easing its ravages, and the pain that goes with it. No matter the source, or how surprising.
In loving memory of Mom and Dad,
Ezekiel J. Krahlin