Monday, October 3, 2011

The War Prayer

So "The War Prayer" wasn't a bad read at all. It chronicled a small church that had gathered to pray and send their boys to war. They were there showing their patriotism and support for America. A haggard looking old man walks in and whispers to the preacher, and then he tells the congregation that he is a messenger from God. He proceeds to say a prayer himself for these boys going off to war, and then he hobbles back down the aisle. Everyone in the church is confused and doesn't want to believe that he was a real messenger from God, so it is assumed that he is a lunatic.
Messenger from God?
So you know when you are reading something and you just have a picture of it in your head... Well for me I had a clear cut picture of my Grandma's tiny church in my head. This church maybe has a congregation of 100, and the average age is like 75. These people are so set in their ways. It's like pulling teeth to try to get them to believe something new, my grandma included. They will sing and praise the lord, but if you say anything that contradicts what their preacher has said or something that they have learned at a previous time, then you are wrong (and you might even be crazy). And is it bad hat I pictured the messenger as Dumbledore from Harry Potter? I'm not some huge, crazy Harry Potter fan, but I have read all of the books and seen the movies. "An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness." If that doesn't sound like Dumbledore, then I don't know what does.
One of the big themes that has been present throughout most of our reading is conformity. That is definitely present here. This group of people in the story are all showing their support for America. They are supporting the men and women going to war. That's what they are supposed to do. Conformity. Are they wrong to support these men and women? In  my opinion, absolutely not. Anyone who fights for my freedom and my country deserves my support. The messenger comes in and tells everyone who he is; they don't believe him. None of them do. Conformity. They are practicing Christians, and yet they don't believe a man who says he is a messenger from God.


  1. It's really interesting to me that you thought of someone from Harry Potter, too! I didn't picture Dumbledore, though. I got more of Lucius Malfoy! Weird that we both got that mental image!

  2. It's probably not a coincidence that you thought of Dumbledore. There is a standard character type out there: older white male, long gray or white hair, long, gray or white beard, long flowing robe...who else does this bring to mind? What are the connotations?

  3. Love the picture. I didn't read any of the Harry Potter books (I know, I know) but my mental image was of a man with a long gray beard and an older man too. I think that if anyone proclaims that they are something, most will not believe them. If a person makes it a mystery to find out something about them, then most people will believe them. This is what I have found to be true in life.