“Would you like to pray?” the priest asked me, and I froze—caught out in the open, no chance to reach cover. I winced, uncertain. How do you explain to a priest that this routine offer is too intimate to accept? How do you refuse something that is supposed to be no big deal?
They tell you that prayer will bring comfort, but at that moment it felt like bumping into someone in the underwear section of the department store. We all know that everyone has needs in this department, but we’d rather other people didn’t know too much about just how big our needs are or what’s really going on underneath the selves we show to the rest of the world.
“You pray,” I said, repositioning my emotional bundles to conceal their contents if not their existence—knowing that the gesture itself revealed as much as what was hidden.