Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puja: By Cindy Hansen

Prayers for my husband come from all sorts of people and a myriad of faith traditions from every corner of the world.  Maybe some readers of this blog would like to send in a short prayer in their own language, plus a translation.  Undoubtedly these heartfelt pleas have made a difference- the typical anaplastic patient only lives a couple of months past diagnosis, but my husband is mowing the lawn 4 1/2 months later-a little baldish, with a feeding tube and a trache, but very much alive.    
Maybe I was thinking ecumenically, or maybe I was thinking of the fun I had in Paris attending an Indian festival conducted by women who were praying for the long life of their husbands.  At any rate, I decided to go to another puja.  This isn’t something you commit to lightly because it means a dawn to moonrise fast from food or drink. 
This is how I found myself obsessed with the idea of drinking water as I sluggishly dragged through a neighborhood lined with two stored houses and tall trees.  I had henna drying on the palm of my hand, and was trying to glimpse the harvest moon.   Sighting the moon would signal it was time to break the fast.  I saw golden light in-between some tree branches, and it lured me further and further on a walk to see if could get a clear look at what was causing the glow on the horizon. 
 It was nine thirty and all the women of the household celebrating the festival were tired and listless.  I wanted to be the heroine who could run to the house saying she was the first to spy the moon…  But Wrong!  Alas, all that glitters isn’t the moon.  Sometimes it’s just a street light doing an impersonation. 
Next, I trudged upstairs to look out the window- zippo again! The view was blocked by the house next door. 
The moon had to be up; we just couldn’t verify that fact.  So we sent two guys out in the car to scout out a clearing; Mission Possible!  They spotted the moon near an elementary. 
 Two grandparents, two children, two parents, and me all piled into the car and drove to a school parking lot.  We disembarked but still couldn’t see the moon!  So, we walked along the road to the bayou, the women dressed in bright Indian clothes, modestly covering our heads, caring platters with small oil lamps, cups tied with red yarn, almonds, and bananas. 
Finally, Eureka!  We saw the moon hovering in space!  What happened next was speedy because we were all so thirsty and famished.  One by one we stood on a cricket stake, threw our clay lamps over our shoulders, poured out the cups of water and quietly said prayers.
 I don’t know what the others said, but I whispered to God to watch over Steve, and asked Christ to hold him in his arms and bless him physically, mentally and spiritually.   He has been a good husband to me for thirtyseven years, and I hope we can have several more happy years.
Send in your prayers.  Steve’s prayer cards remind people to pray.  To reiterate: “It is never too late.  God is listening.”
Cindy's henna on her hand



  1. I love this post. Thanks for sharing it, Cindy. Every night my kids and I say this prayer: "Dear Lord, please restore Superman Steve to perfect health."

  2. Hope my prayer goes to him ! I belive his superman power !