I’ve never read The Color Purple. Mostly because I loved the movie so much. I didn’t want to “ruin” it. Of all the things I love best (grace, redemption, “Maybe God is trying to tell you something“) about the movie and that have sunk deep into my heart, mind and soul, there’s one thing about the movie I apparently got very, very wrong.
For years, I’ve been calling any sort of wide, elastic-y, bold-patterned pants “Folks Pants,” meaning: the pants Miss Celie made in her store at the end of the movie. Because I thought that this was what she called them. Apparently–according to extensive Google searches–she merely calls them Folk Pants. I like this much less.
Because of course, folk implies culture (folklore, folk stories, folk songs, folk whater) whereas folksssss implies people–the regular people. The folks. (Except of course, when it refers to your or my folks…) And I liked that these were pants for the folks. Which they were.
But I was more distressed to learn I was wrong (and will be so happy to be shown that I was actually right!) because somewhere along the line in my terrible, random, awful prayer life folks pants turned into folks prayers. These are the prayers I pray when I’m thinking broadly and generally–about various random groups of people, of folks. These are the prayers I pray when I sit at the airport, for instance, as I did last weekend, with a group of linemen (not the football kind, the kind who fix wires on utility poles) from Providence. Their accents drew me in (Rhode Island may have the best American accents around). But thinking about the work they do–and how terrified I’d be–made me shoot up a couple prayers to God for folks who dig heels into pegs on wooden poles and hang 30-feet in the air while snipping and wrestling wires. The linemen who did this in the pole in the corner of my yard several years ago, would’ve had to ring my bell and ask that our dog be brought in. Our Rottweiler wasn’t a fan of these folks. I imagine many dogs aren’t. Add that to the list of dangers…
But anyway, linemen aren’t the only folks needing prayer. And I need to stop being so random in my prayer list. So I thought, maybe, I could start writing them. I’ve always considered my writing life–whether I’m writing books or or bad poems or essays or reviews–to be prayer. But in a veiled sort of way.
So I don’t know. We’ll see how this goes. If you’ve got folks needing prayer–a broad group, please, no specific names (God’ll know)–feel free to put them in the comments. And I’ll add them to the list I’ve already got going.
For the record, as I’ve written about, I take a broad view of prayer. I go to God in all sorts of ways. Sometimes on my knees, often with a shaking fist. Sometime with open hands, often with rolled eyes. Sometimes, with actual head bent, eyes closed and folded or pressed-together hands. But I believe God’s okay with any old way we come. So long as we do. So, that’s what I’m trying to do here.
[NOTE: One of the reasons I’m a terrible personal blogger is that I get lazy editing myself. I like having editors. But I don’t have one for this. So, if you see typos or errors or small issues, just ignore. If you see something horrifying, feel free to let me know.]