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Say One Prayer

By: Brian Asriel Newman

Momma when you get to heaven
Say one prayer for me
You know that just like you I don’t ask for much
Just a little grace to fall on me
Disregard this anger And our sharp words
Thought this day would never come
Heaven and earth shook so violently
When the dark angel stole your smile and left
Down here with my demons
Under a sky that’s waiting to fall down on me
All the meaning died when you said goodbye
Can’t find the shame in fear
So Momma when you get to heaven
Could you say one prayer for me?
Seems you’ve left us all your gravity
Can’t lift our faces off the ground
Daddy hits the bottle harder
Brother is trying hard to glue his heart
As for me I hit the wall
Were you truly an angel?
Does my memory paint white powder on your wings?
Only to touch your feathers for the final time again I’d keep it all to me
The only machines to fly these dreams
Were stapled to your shoulder blades
And with that star went down
Down here with my demons
Under a sky that is waiting to on me Fall down on me
All the meaning died when you said goodbye
Can’t find the shame in fear
So when you get to heaven Could you say one prayer
Momma could you say just one prayer for me?
     Say One Prayer is obviously a song about someone that passed away, in this instance my mother who died when I was 14 years old. The song isn’t about the one who has went to rest awaiting the “World to Come” as the Jews says, it’s about how the loss of one life affects the lives of those who are left behind. Our reactions to death seem so automated, as if they were out of our control, but we do have choices about how our lives will continue after the life of someone we loved has reached its last tomorrow. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be stuck in that moment and that place, and the rest of our lives halted in a way at the same station where the life of someone we loved ended. We don’t grow past that place, we make no memories beyond it, we do not plan beyond it, and we do not allow ourselves to enjoy beyond it. This may seem to be honoring those who traveled ahead, but for most it is not what they would want for us.
                                               Mom and Grandma Vernell
     Other seasons when someone passes we may choose to hurry our own passing to catch up with them, so when their last breathe comes we seek to slowly accelerate ours as well by becoming restless for our own death. We may begin chain smoking, crawl to the bottom of a bottle as fast as we can get there, work ourselves beyond exhaustion under we buried under our tasks just as our loved one is buried under the daisies or we might just drink in all the danger we can find daring death to open the door for us. All of these begin with the assumption that our final destination is the same destination as the one we loved, but if we have no light of life in us from the Creator, no forgiveness and transformation of the darkness within us from the only perfect one (Yeshua the Messiah, or as Christians say, Jesus the Christ) how we can expect to live in a Kingdom of Light? Even if our loved one is there, is this a guarantee that we will be welcome with open arms to a City of Light when we ourselves have chosen to walk in the darkness as our path? If the one we loved chose the darkness as their path, would they want us to join them in Sheol or would they wish for us that we chose better than they had, that we had chosen life? Perhaps the choice that honors the one we loved is to walk in the light we are given, to be thankful for the time that we have been given, and to let the loss of their days make our remaining days truly matter. Honoring them is letting their death remind us how to live.
“The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.” Isaiah 57:1
 The death of my mother is perhaps the defining moment of my life, the pivot point that altered my direction for the remainder of my days. I was in the 8th grade and she was suddenly in the hospital with an aneurism and we were left to stay with a family for a few days that obviously didn’t want us there in the middle of Winter not knowing when or is she would come home. The only idea more frightening than losing my mother would be being left with my father. My mom was the glue that held our domestic disaster together, she cooked so we had a meal other than the gas station food which would become our sustenance later, she cleaned so we didn’t live in the filth that would become our home, she worked overnight factory jobs so that while we might know poverty we would not know the shame of desperation that stung our cheeks in the years that came afterwards, and she drug us to Church to counter act the effects of my dad selling drugs to bikers and the factory workers in the rest of the trailer park in the wasteland town.
     I spent so many years running as far as I could from the God that she prayed to, that she trusted, that she loved. What I perceived as the injustice of His choice to take Her instead of Him boiled by blood with rage against the Almighty (which only leaves you bruised and exhausted in case you are ever tempted to try living that way). But when your arms are sore from the flailing at the sky, He will still carry you the very moment that you allow Him, as if the war and rage never took place. Like any parent who watched their toddler have a temper tantrum. After I had some more years behind me, witnessed countless other people I loved be lain down under a blanket of Earth from my grandparents to my roommate, I saw how true Isaiah 57 is for those who are spared the terrors and heartbreak their eyes would have seen if they walked through more seasons, seasons possibly of prodigal children or of cancer and the collapse of the Nation they fought for, or the family. Sometimes a passing is not a stealing of a loved one, but a way of taking them to safety. Sometimes, in a strange way, it is also an answer to a parent’s prayer that we would become all that we were intended to be. If my mom had not been taken, I wouldn’t have enough pain inside me to fight for the ease of yours, to write this book, to help you make sense of it and give it a glorious purpose that will live on.
 Brian Czech RepublicBrian Newman is United States Air Force veteran with a B.A. in History. He is aspiring to be a full time minister and author, and as the father of two girls, Shema Yisrael Newman is 2, Aliyahna Shalom Newman is 4; he expresses and writes about his concern for the world they will grow up in. INSPIRED  welcomes Brian as a new  family member and contributing writer.

1 Comment on Say One Prayer

  1. Pastor Linda Lampe // May 13, 2016 at 1:52 am // Reply

    Beautiful and raw,yet tender and strong.

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