Prayer is spiritual valium

Suzette Standring
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It’s not death.  It’s not dismemberment, but it was black despair when I lost my website. No access, lost files. I thought that email from my provider was an ad, not a renewal notice! Now my website went poof! No crimes involved, just felony stupidity on my part.

Being a technosaur, I believed the guy at the misnamed “Help Center” who said nothing could be done to get it back. I had lost my on-line career identity. I posted my techno-lament on Facebook.

Then I called my friend Winsome (who knows nothing about on-line technology). I love her Jamaican accent. I respect her no-nonsense attitude. I just needed her steadiness and prayerful attitude.

“What are you so upset about?” she asked.

“Winsome, waaa!” and I launched into my litany of woes.

She quoted Matthew 6:27: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

I secretly thought, “You are not getting my problem at all.”

She said, “Oh, now you’re mad at me. I can tell.”

“No, Winsome, I’m frustrated. I’ve got way too much on my plate for a sudden disaster.” I then ticked off a to-do list that would straighten her hair.

“Suzette, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You cannot even boast about the next hour. You’re stressed out because you can’t control things, and you’re worried about the future. Get through today. Just focus on what you can do today.”

Another big boo-hoo from me.

“Suzette, never mind about your computer, let’s pray together that you can find calm and peace of heart.”

So we did, but my prayers were not calm. They were seizures of fear, hiccups of discouragement, wheedling, whining cries for help. No whispers here, I was flat out yelling to God, “Please! I need my website back! Help!”

Afterwards, Winsome said, “You make me laugh because I pray like that, too, sometimes.”

She was certain God would answer, and asked, “Now don’t you feel better?”

I did.  Ah, spiritual Valium. I then decided to just get through the day. I gardened. I took a walk.  I watched Judge Judy.

Later, an unexpected email came from a woman who read my lament on Facebook. She sought help from her friend, a website specialist.  He was certain my website could be retrieved and told me what to do.  I then called my provider’s help center, and this time, I reached someone who fixed the problem.

God moved two strangers to help me, a Facebook acquaintance and the CEO of a website company.  It took me letting go and letting God, which is not easy for a bossy boots like me. Herculean, really, but not impossible.

Prayer is spiritual valium. I found peace, and then rescue found me.

This column appeared in The Patriot Ledger and nationally through GateHouse Media on July 9, 2016.


  1. Which came first, the problem or the sootliun? Luckily it doesn’t matter.