Praying in Color & the Airways

Nov 9, 2010

Many thanks to my friend Sharon P. for this guest blog post.

I’d like to ‘testify’ how Praying in Color kept me from throwing my phone through a window and my self-respect along with it.

Let it be known that (unlike Sybil) I CAN draw a cat. Or at least a recognizable facsimile thereof. In fact, I draw daily, often as a way to quiet my mind and pray. I might draw during a difficult phone call, but I seldom remember to pray. I had been moved by Sybil Macbeth’s work with prayer doodles as I like to call her winsome, accessible prayer forms, but I had never tried one in the midst of a stressful situation until last night, sometime near midnight.

After two stressful hours of dutifully trying to comply with a major airline’s desire that I use their online system to change a reservation, pay the exorbitant change fee, apply the remaining credit to a new reservation and receiving ‘error messages’ and no help from online help, I entered the hell of being shuttled from one employee to another, each who promised that if I filled everything out just one more time, their system would work. It didn’t. When I finally clicked on the purchase ticket and got another error message and was told not to try again until the next day, I was ready to explode.

This time I got Martin who told me that the price had just gone up $90 and there was nothing I nor he could do about it. My heart rate accelerated as I asked to speak with his supervisor. I became agitated as I recounted my many attempts to purchase a ticket to Pat, a supervisor used to testy customers. Her tone became patronizing as I struggled not to make empty threats: “Just you wait; Southwest is coming to Memphis!”

As she put me on hold I had the thought to doodle a prayer on behalf of the whole mess. I put my Higher Power and Serenity in the center circle, Pat’s name in one, the price I had been promised in another. By the time I wrote ‘let it begin with me’ in a circle I realized I really did want to make a compassionate human connection with Pat, regardless of the outcome of the ticket.  My prayer was granted. By the time she got back to me, my heart was open and my will was surrendered. She had gone out of her way to insure I got the ticket at the right price. I was truly grateful. Not only for the ticket, but for the thought and the form that enabled me to retrieve my humility and my humanity. Thank you, Sybil, and thanks be to Love for the transforming power of prayer.

Sharon P.