Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Power of Prayer

Although Gramps had a reputation for being a bit rough in his younger days, I knew him as a deeply religious man. Every night at bedtime he would do a sincere and heartfelt prayer for us. Here, bent over in the candlelight he was nothing but a kind and gentle soul.

On one of these occasions grandma called from the other room. To let her know what he was doing, he continued his prayer in an elevated voice. Even though they were right next to us, she must not have heard - for a few moments later she called again. For the second time he turned up the volume.

But, as I had found out later, grandma was a woman who loved her nightcap, which had the tendency to make her slightly belligerent. Not about to back off, she persisted. An octave higher, he increased the decibel count. By now the whole house were reverberating, and the good Lord himself must have been looking for some earplugs.

To my astonishment she hollered again. That's when grandpa flipped: "Damn it, woman, can't you hear I am praying!" he shouted. The outburst was so sudden that I turned stone cold. As I opened my eyes I saw the ashen face of my pal on the other side of the bed. We both expected God to smite someone dead, any second now.

Slowly, grandpa got back on his knees and stood like that for a moment. "Shit, no-one can say a prayer now", was all he said. Then he got into bed and turned around to sleep.

Grandma did not make another peep and neither could we. For the rest of our stay, she was very nice and polite to us. And we treated grandpa with a new kind of respect.

Jan Tik

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