The drive to the hotel seemed like an eternity. The plastic swipe key for her door wouldn’t work. She was becoming more than agitated. Just before she kicked the door, she realized she had exited on the wrong floor. Embarrassed that someone might have been in the room she crept back to the elevator. It was hard to see the room numbers through tears. That was her excuse. The key worked perfectly on her room lock. Falling onto the bed, she hugged a pillow and cried again. She didn’t believe in prayer anymore. There had been a time, before the apocalypse, when she had believed in lots of things. She was sure that prayer was fakery and religion was just a feeble attempt to explain the universe, at least until today. Her existential crisis had occurred many years ago. Now she was having another, opposite crisis where everything mattered. She didn’t want to care, she had been happy isolating herself from all people. But as she gulped air and the sobs subsided, the realization that she had to do something, had to believe in something, and even trust someone, crashed tsunami-like over her. Growing up prayer was part of family life. She had memorized prayers for meals and bedtime; there were prayers for every occasion. Rolling onto her back, she stared at the ceiling and watched the blinking smoke detector as she tried to remember the prayer for lost causes. It wouldn’t come to her. She resorted to checking her smart phone. She read the words on the small screen but they didn’t mean anything. A deep sigh escaped. It was a sigh not from her lungs but from her very soul. With a wrenching gasp she uttered a simple prayer direct from her heart to God’s ear, “Please let him live.” Turning onto her side, she cried a little more before falling into an exhausted sleep.
Many people are skeptics until that very instant when death looms. Then everyone is a believer. Lucky for all of us, God doesn’t distinguish between the “cradle to the grave” believer and the person with the conversion experience in the last 2 seconds of their life. God loves us all – even when we don’t love Him back.