by William Skink
I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, but wasn’t sure how to begin. It is much easier to criticize local tax policies than to explain why I think prayer is a form of magic that works.
I was raised Presbyterian in the midwest and rebelled against the hypocrisy of organized religion in very predictable ways, like smoking weed and listening to Marilyn Manson. Later, in college, I took an understanding the Bible class and was intrigued/horrified at the extreme violence of the old testament.
The religion I was actually influenced by growing up was the soulless consumerism of a spiritually starved suburbia. I gave that place my most righteous middle finger and arrived in Missoula in 2000 ready to expand my mind.
The story of my time in this valley can be summed up with one word: disillusionment.
Becoming disillusioned doesn’t happen overnight, at least it didn’t for me. It was a process that took years to develop. Working at the homeless shelter was like adding accelerant to the process, and since that work started in 2008, it also acted as an inoculant to the Obama HOPIUM liberals were infected by for 8 years.
Since the previous 8 years were psychotic Bush cabal years, the great Obama betrayal left me politically unmoored. The result was that I became deeply cynical. To deal with that visceral disappointment, on top of the vicarious trauma I had accumulated from working with people in crisis, I self-medicated with alcohol.
I think it’s safe to say most people with unhealthy coping strategies relied on those strategies EVEN MORE once the pandemic hit. I know I did. Until I decided to stop.
This is where I believe prayer played a role. I say “believe” because that is what one must do with this kind of stuff. The story I am about to tell you cannot be held up as proof of anything other than, the cynics would say, a meaningful coincidence.
Like everyone, I was having a hard time with the fear and isolation of our NEW NORMAL, but UNLIKE everyone, I knew there were people praying for me, like my mom’s prayer group. One day back in May I was particularly low. My mom encouraged me ask the higher power for help. Sure mom, I thought, but to appease her, later that day, as I was taking my dog for a walk, I did what she asked.
Did the sky part and the heavens thunder? No, of course not. I said my piece and returned home.
Later that same day, I was in my shop working on my huge Lego project with my oldest son. He had rebuilt the bar I had added to an Italian restaurant, so it needed to be reintegrated. To do this I had to remove a bunch of Legos to level out the area it was to be installed.
It’s important to understand the scale of my Lego project to appreciate what happened next. I am not exaggerating when I say there are probably at least 100,000 Lego pieces involved. I have spent a small fortune behaving like Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters, strangely compelled to build this big plastic narrative metaphor in my garage.
So there I was, using a knife to dig out Lego pieces to install a bar. With a flip of the wrist, a green Lego popped off and flew across the table. I picked it up. On the side of this Lego piece there was a message: GOD LOVES YOU.
I recognized the Lego piece immediately. My middle kid had received it at my parent’s church last year during the kid potion of the service. Out of tens of thousands of Lego pieces, that this piece popped out on the day it did, well, you can see why I saw this as extremely significant.
Since then I have continued to benefit from what I see as the grace of a higher power.
During another low point, I received a call from someone who felt compelled to call me at that particular moment. I haven’t met this person IRL yet, and she doesn’t even live in this state, yet circumstances have intertwined our paths, and a shared sense of faith has shown us both that a higher power is at work.
If you are reading this and rolling your eyes, I get it. A dude with a drinking problem finds religion is a tired trope that, if it wasn’t my own experiences, I would easily dismiss, and have actually dismissed for a good chunk of my life.
A lot of factors have contributed to my evolving spiritual perspective, and one of those factors is the belief system of those in power. It is MY BELIEF that a spiritual war is being waged against us by these occult forces, and even though it appears they are winning, there DOES EXIST a higher power with the capability to transform their evil acts into a paradigm-shifting revelation of their spiritual control grid.
Exposing these mechanisms and strategies of control has been, and will continue to be, a major focus of my writing and my art, but I can’t do it alone.
To those who have helped support me, even when I don’t make it easy, THANK YOU.
And to those trying to enact their anti-human endgame agenda, I’ll pray the love emanating from a higher power reveals itself to you as well, and that your soul-sickness is healed.