I take up a station under a medium-sized tree.
The breeze is blowing, the sky is a deep blue.
To my right is a middle-aged couple who chat occasionally.
To my left, a teenager in jean capri-pants.
A few cars drive by:
families on their way home from church,
an older man driving carefully,
two teenage girls.
I realize my prayer rope is hard to hold
but I say the Jesus prayer anyway.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.
A pick-up truck with LSU flags drives past.
The driver honks.
We wave.
Such a variety.
Some drive stoically
eyes straight ahead.
Some rubberneck.
One young woman waves wildly with one hand while
talking on the phone with the other.
Two elderly ladies wearing pearls
driving 10 mph
smile broadly and wave delicately.
A jacked-up sedan with windows
tinted so dark as to be black
flies by.
I look worriedly around for children near the road.
Three Hispanic young men in a pick-up
grin and give thumbs up.
A preppy-looking family in Izod shirts
drives by waving while the little boy in the back
stares out curiously.
Two young black women cruise by
waving so that you can see they have gold rings
on every finger.
We smile at them all.
A black man drives by
carefully looking away.
There is a toddler asleep in the back seat.
Two white teenage boys
in a muddy truck with “Go Saints!” flags
fluttering from every window
smile and give us thumbs up.
An elderly black couple in a polished car,
the wife in a $150 hat,
smile and give us thumbs up.
A family that was at our church this morning,
heading home, wave.
They have almost 2 hours to drive.
A man across the street, walking
counting on his fingers over
and over.
It looks like the Baptist church services
are all done.
My back is starting to hurt.
Boys come by every so often
offering water bottles.
One offers a chair.
I look up and down the street.
We are stretched out over several blocks.
The organizer trots up and down
checking on people.
A police car drives slowly by
the policeman giving us the
hand-on-the-steering-wheel wave.
A black family drives by
every single child waving madly at their windows.
The breeze is starting to feel a little too cool.
I shift over a foot into some sun.
A car going 15 mph drives by
the driver grinning and waving
occasionally honking
as four cars drive impatiently behind him
forced against their will to look at us.
We chuckle.
My shoulders are hurting
despite shifting my arms.
The hour and a half must be almost over.
I think briefly of my children back at the church hall.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.
The woman who lives in the house behind me
gets home, unloads her car
and offers us drinks.
A Greyhound bus,
the driver looking grim,
the passengers looking astonished.
A rescue vehicle
the men smiling and waving.
More families going home from church.
It’s time for the AME churches to be getting out.
I shift again.
I’m getting tired and realizing all I’ve had is blessed bread.
The organizer starts calling up and down the street
for us to come back to the church.
I walk back with the others
young and old
black and white
dressy and casual.
Lord have mercy.
Maybe we did some good today.
I turn in my sign:

5 thoughts on “

  1. beautiful!

    I remember as a preteen at Lifechains- usually they would be Sunday afternoons- people would always scream at me “get a job!” (or flip the bird) I was confused- I'm 12- it's Sunday afternoon- I need to be at a job? I hope I just prayed for them


  2. Are you in a car or are you sitting by the road?

    I myself pray the Jesus Prayer daily using a prayer rope. I do this in the daily traffic jam to and from work. Keeping my eyes on the road and running the prayer rope through my fingers.

    I also notice the surroundings while praying, but the prayer rope helps me to keep focused.

    Regards and God Bless,



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