When Prayers Fail
The events surrounding the Sydney Siege this week have left me a little confused. All across the world, people were praying to their gods, to the universe, to whatever force goes beyond our individual existence, for a peaceful outcome to the situation. This outpouring of positive energy across the globe did little to help. In the end, three people still died.
It made me wonder — if all that prayer, from people more spiritual than me, can’t influence what happens, what hope do I have? I’m just a single person asking for a job, a pain-free body, and for the safety of my loved ones. It seems to me I haven’t got a chance.
Perhaps it is death itself that we are powerless against. Neale Donald Walsch claims that our souls choose the moment when it is time to die, no matter what the circumstances. He believes we are born with a divine mission, and once that is accomplished, we leave our bodies behind and transition to whatever comes next. Maybe death is the one thing we can’t change no matter how hard we try.
I’m beginning to think that even though we can’t alter the final appointment that’s written on the blueprint of our souls, we can transform the experience of those who are still living. The outpouring of communal love with the #illridewithyou movement and the expressions of respect at the Martin Place floral tribute might be what all that prayer and positive energy achieved. Perhaps without it, we would be more suspicious of each other, more frightened, and more dismissive of our need to honour the dead.
On the other side of tragedy we are stronger, kinder, more attentive and more connected. Is this what we changed by evoking the blessings of our respective gods?
I’d like to think so.