On the Doorposts of My House

On the Doorposts of My House


Prayers for healing

posted by Malachi Kosanovich

One of the strangest parts of my job is the completely transitory nature of the relationships I build. Sure, every bar has it’s regulars. They keep the bar going. But for the most part, people come in and out. You see them once or twice, while they are in town, and then they disappear. Because of where the bar I work at is located, these transitory relationships are both fleeting and intensely personal in heartbreakingly strange ways.

See, my bar is right next to both a major hospital and a veteran’s center, which specializes in mental healthcare. The people who come in come in devastated. They are waiting for bad news. They have already received bad news and are at the hospital for treatment. They are in town to watch loved ones die, or because their children are in the cancer ward, or because they gave months or days or years of service and it left them broken.

They come into the bar for the hours, days or weeks during which they are being treated or waiting for treatment. I see them through the worst parts of their treatment, fear, and depression. I rarely see them afterwards. I never get to find out if they are ok. I never know if the spouse/child/parent survived surgery. I never know if the cancer/heart disease/mental illness is made better.

And I’m never sure what to do. I rarely know their names. I am not a part of their lives. All I know is why they are in my bar. What I hear is:

“I’m waiting for test results on my wife’s cancer.”

“My daughter has been in the ICU since she was born.”

“I haven’t slept without nightmares since I came back.”

It breaks my heart.

But in other, surprising ways, I think it has brought me closer to G…d. I have found that I pray more – for these nameless people who come in and out of my bar. They are the people constantly in my thoughts. They are the people for whom I pray in the evening. And I am learning to let go of asking for an answer to the prayers.

When I first started at the bar, I didn’t ask people why they were there. I knew that I wasn’t going to find out if they were healed, and I couldn’t stand the constant questions. I couldn’t stand the wondering. Now, I ask. I listen. I pray. I know that I won’t know if they are healed. I won’t know if they are cured. I won’t know what happens to their loved ones. I no longer think I need to know. My prayers shouldn’t be about the answers. They should be about the people, about letting G…d know that I care for them. The need for answers is a selfish need, and not the point of the prayer.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
Dave W

posted February 2, 2012 at 1:23 am


Do you feel any qualms about selling alcohol to these people? Doesn’t Judaism view alcohol as something for celebrating life and happiness? Isn’t it dangerous when alcohol is turned to in times of stress, loss and sadness? When people are at their weakest, alcohol is not the answer.



report abuse
 

Malachi Kosanovich

posted December 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm


I hope that you are doing well now. I will include you in my prayers for healing.



report abuse
 

Niera

posted December 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm


Working in a Hospital I learned to pray silently for patients,most all the time I don’t know what happen to them but sometimes I do.
Let keep praying for people even though we don’t know ever their names .



report abuse
 

xyzzy

posted December 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm


When I was receiving radiation treatments for cancer — daily over a 7-week period — I had similar thoughts and feelings about the other patients who were in treatment. Their treatment schedules weren’t necessarily the same as mine, and the start dates and end dates of theirs didn’t align with mine. Consequently I saw some of them only once or twice. Others, I got to know somewhat. Even so, everyone was tired or sick or in pain because of the treatments. I learned that the best thing I could do was to pray for them silently.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting On The Doorposts of My House. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Tattooed Jew Happy Reading!!!

posted 6:48:10pm Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Minyan
So I'm having this conversation on Facebook with a very dear friend. It started with his news that he no longer counted as a Jew for the purposes of a minyan. For those who don't know, a minyan is a group of ten Jews who have gathered for the purposes of prayer. Issues surrounding who is eligible

posted 3:54:03am Dec. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Dear Mitt Romney
Dear Mitt Romney, I’ve heard you are having money troubles. After all, if the best thing you can think of to do with 10,000 dollars is make a bet with someone on television, then clearly you aren’t getting creative with ways to invest your money. I thought perhaps you could use a little help

posted 3:57:35pm Dec. 12, 2011 | read full post »

A reading list for the rest of us
Recently, the Huffington Post ran an article on the 18 texts every Jew should read. While it was a fascinating article and filled with wonderful texts, it had a few flaws that should not be overlooked. Most of the authors were men. Almost all of the books are religious in nature. Few of the books me

posted 9:52:49pm Nov. 02, 2011 | read full post »

Breaking up is hard to do
I will admit it readily. I have no idea who Kim Kardashian is. I have no idea to whom she is married. I don't really care that I don't know. Maybe she made a silly marriage. Maybe everyone around them knew that it wasn't going to last. But I find it hard to believe that Kim or her future ex went

posted 2:40:05am Nov. 02, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.