Photo Prayer 2019-34 -- Make Us Wealthy

Dear God, increase our wealth! Healthy bodies and clear minds, food aplenty and comfortable shelter, good friends and reconciled families, satisfying careers and money in the bank — all these things are good. Thank you! But please, dear God, increase our wealth in those things that truly matter — faith, hope, and love. Swell our hearts with gratitude and expectation, delight in the moment and eager anticipation for the next.

Photo inside a wastewater pipe waiting to be installed at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Wilmington, Delaware.
Photo copyright 2003; and text, 2019, by Danny N. Schweers.

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Ernestine wrote:
Danny, that's beautiful especially at this time of the year. Thanks

Donna wrote:
Very inspirational! Great image. You are gifted, Danny. You can take something very ordinary and make it magical. 👌

Hugh Phibbs wrote:
Wonderful image!

Rosemary wrote:
Beautiful, Danny. When I read what [the photo] was I was aghast. Picasso said an artist is someone who looks at something and SEES something else. Also that Art “washes the dust off everyday life”. Thank you for what you do to inspire us.

Ellen wrote:
Great shot! It’s fun to imagine other origins. Is that a sun looking back at a black hole? DANNY REPLIED: Yes, I often think of the camera as a teleportation device, allowing me to travel across the universe.

Craig wrote:
This is a terrific prayer, especially as you illustrated it with a sewer pipe! Much to contemplate…. We just got back from a two week trip to Jamaica, a very poor island … except of course for the hordes of "wealthy" white people that constantly rim it's shores. One morning I was assessing the weather and said to the dive master that it was a bad day, ie to go diving. This poor Jamaican looked back at me and responded, "Every day is a good day, mon." Hit me right between the eyes. I took a picture with him, and thanked him and said that that photo would remind me, every time I saw it, of the beauty of being alive. That "bad day" was a kind of sewer pipe, delivering surprising revelations…
Whenever you go to a foreign country, there is just this immense curiosity about what the "people" are like, as if a sample provided by a week or two's worth of casual acquaintence would provide some kind of deep anthropological insight, like, "oh, the Jamaican people are SUCH HAPPY PEOPLE!" etc etc
I was appalled at how little interest or curiosity my fellow travelers had in either the country or the people. They were quite satisfied staking out their 9 square feet of beach sand and staying there for the duration. I was regaled with stories about how dangerous it was beyond the resort walls. I took them with a generous grain of salt, and took 2 (chaparoned...i'm not foolish, esp with Jan in tow) excursions outside The Walls...
The recounting of those little adventures awaits another time. But one of my most indelible experiences actually took place late at night around the resort pool. It was a very peaceful and beautiful Carribbean night, and i couldnt sleep so left the room to enjoy it all. A small group of the staff had just knocked off and were sitting around yakking. The lilt of their conversation was mesmerizing from where i was sitting, so i decided to move in closer to see if i could pick up what they were saying. I sat down in a chair close by, with my back turned to them so they wouldnt think i was eavesdropping, and listened to them talk to each other as Jamaicans, not as resort employees talking to white resort guests. It was wonderful. They were speaking Jamaican patois, and i really couldnt understand a word of it, but the verbal music was enchanting. I learned that they address their women as "m' lady"...very cool. And almost every sentence really ends in "mon"...
After about 20 minutes or so i got up and turned around and walked over to them. I said, I came down here to enjoy the night and the peaceful pool, but i couldnt help overhearing you. I couldnt understand a word you said, but i loved listening to you talk. Thanks so much...good night!
Well they all got a hearty laugh out of that. Conclusions about "the nature of the Jamaican people"? None, really. But i felt that in that 20 minutes i'd gotten closer to the answer than any of my friends cared to. And i was grateful for that little bout of insomnia...

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