The other night, our daughter was praying with our grandson. A nightly ritual. They pray for the entire family. They pray for my sis and my niece who are battling cancer. They pray for his daddy who is in his first year of nursing school, after deciding to make a career change at age 40. No small task, that. But this daddy is smart and good and works hard. He loves being able to help others, and has such a mind for details. We are all so proud of him for making this major change in his life. It it always inspiring to see people try and better themselves and their world, isn’t it?
Anyway, like I said, our daughter was praying with our grandson, who is in the midst of potty-training. So as he and his momma finished up their prayers, Sawyer Bean piped in: “One more thing, Jesus: Help me not poop my pants.”
Konnie had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing. Sawyer always wants to know what his momma is laughing about and she didn’t want to have to explain herself to him.
I laughed, too, when she told me about my grandson’s prayer.
But really and truly, it seems to me that there are plenty of times when we might all pray that prayer. Or as my friend Jerry Burke put it: We are entering that age when we will soon be joining Sawyer in that prayer.
Jerry was referring, of course, to the aging process.
I, however, am referring to a more global perspective.
Imagine if Donald Trump arose every morning and went to bed every night praying: “Jesus, help me not to poop my pants.” Perhaps then, he would quit shitting all over everything we hold sacred, say, like our Gold Star families. The environment. The Constitution. The First Amendment. Humanity in general and specifically, people of color and women.
Imagine if Kim Jong Un arose every morning and went to bed every night praying: “Jesus, help me not to poop my pants.” Perhaps then he’d give up his relentless pursuit of power. Maybe he’d invest more into caring for his people and focus less on the arms race he’s created. Maybe he and Shaq could hang out more, shoot a little hoop. Drink a beer or two. Maybe Kim Jong Un is so uptight because he fears shitting his pants before the entire world. His fear of embarrassment outweighs his ability to reason, his ability to be a decent human.
Imagine if Steve Bannon woke up every morning and went to bed every night, “Jesus, help me not to poop my pants.” Perhaps then he’d give up the booze and pills. Maybe then he’d realize that all that instead of shitting all over everything and burning it all down, he could really learn to do something constructive with his life. He could say he’s sorry for all the ways in which he demeans others. He could use his vast media skills to build people up, create a kinder world. He could start with himself. Bannon seems to have a mind full of only negative thoughts. He doesn’t seem capable of being a person of affirmation. He can’t feel good about himself ever. That must be why he has the countenance of an angry troll. Poor fella. It’s like he never got potty trained. The shit just keeps piling up around him. He’s drawn to it, like flies to a pile. He really needs to take a lesson from Sawyer: “Please Jesus, help me not to poop my pants anymore.”
Imagine if instead of going to the podium and lying to the public at every turn, those who are supporting this shameful administration, asked Jesus ahead of time to help them not to poop their pants. Sean Spicer would have earned the respect of a nation. There would have never been a Scarmucci or Huckabee Sanders. Betsy DeVos would have had the decency of heart to turn down a position she is ill-equipped for. Her brother, Erik Prince (one might add Prince of Darkness and be more accurate), would have valued human life over the millions he made off a company called Blackwater. Prince would not be advocating now for doing kills-for-hire or what he’s trying to sell the public on as “contract military.” If only, he would have learned the prayers my grandson learned, so many more innocent people in Iraq would be alive. Imagine if Scott Pruitt woke each day and prayed, “Jesus, help me not to poop my pants.” Bristol Bay would remain untouched and the salmon would continue to thrive. Instead it’s as if Scott Pruitt himself built his own personal outhouse over the bay and shit all over the salmon after eating a meal of toxic waste. One can only hope that Scott Pruitt chokes to death on a salmon bone as retribution for selling out the world’s more sacred environments for blood money.
Yes, so many people could learn from Sawyer’s prayer to not poop himself.
Which brings me to the other prayer that Sawyer and his momma pray every night: “Jesus help me to have a kind heart, kind thoughts and kind words.”
That’s a prayer that even his Mimi needs to work on.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of CHRISTIAN BEND: A novel (Mercer University Press). She is taking a break from Facebook while she works on that the lessons her grandson is teaching her. And while she works on relocating the family home closer to the grandson, who is doing very well at potty-training. Thank you, Jesus.