We have all received them, the prayer emails that speak of love, joy, and eternal friendship that give you a deadline to forward them to your friends, or you will die. I remember the first one I received. I sent it on and still looked over my shoulder for days. Well, I’m going to take a walk on the wild side. I’m going to run with scissors, and delete every one I receive from this day forward.
I received one prayer about starving homeless children, which reminded me of my mother trying to convince me to eat my scalloped potatoes. “Children all over the world are starving!” she would say. I would gag them down, thinking I had just saved a kid’s life. After I hit the “forward” button for the starving children, I was twenty-three again, questioning the validity of my sainted mother’s reasoning.
There are some heart-wrenching stories out there that show up in my inbox. One was about a young boy whose dying wish was to receive ten million emails in the short time he had left. I sent it to everyone I knew, several times. Turns out young Billy was featured on Snopes as a hoax. I should have figured that, while I was wondering who in the name of God would want that many emails. That’s as bad as having five thousand close friends on Facebook.
There are a gazillion chain emails, but the prayer ones are my favorite. I mean, what kind of a person wouldn’t send a prayer for a long, healthy, and prosperous life to people they love, especially when it’s a given you will burn in hell for eternity, if you hit that delete button?
Those beautiful “Guardian Angel” prayer emails get me. Someone sent one that assured me that the angel they sent would look after me, and forever shower me with love and good fortune. The catch was that if I didn’t send the email to ten people in ten minutes I would fall from grace and be forever doomed to walk the world in darkness. You better believe I sent that one on. I don’t want to “walk” anywhere.
Some clever computer aficionados have put together stunning scenery and music to suck me in. They start off innocently enough, with the serenity of a sunrise over some majestic mountains, with Franz Listz providing the mood. I settle back and proceed through the slideshow, absorbing the moment, restoring my soul. There is usually a short prayer at the end, just before I am instructed to forward the email on or my house will implode and I will grow a third lip.
I might be a little late in catching on, and realizing that misfortune would not descend upon me like a plague if I did not do as requested was a little like finding out that Ronald Reagan started out as a Democrat.
So, I’m all done with the chains. I’m sure there is a purpose to them, but for the life of me I can’t figure it out. I have taken the first step, though, on my road to recovery. I have just deleted one prayer that promised me good health and blessings until I die. Uh, I’m not so sure I understand that one, but it’s been longer than the seven minutes I was given, under threat of being stwicken wi…..gathp….gathp …oh, my God…iths tharted!