Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

Did you really think you can come out here and speak in front of everyone?
Everyone can see you’re getting nervous.
You’re sweating so much you’re drowning us…

There is not one but two people speaking right now
By the look of it, you all probably think I’m crazy
Let me introduce you
I’m ______ and this is that pretty, little, annoying voice stuck inside my head
One might label her as a conscience

But to me she is more than just that
To me she is my captor
And I, I am held as her prisoner
Detained within a perimeter
Leaving me as the co-signer of my own signature
With just a raise of her brow,
I obey every command
And I, obey every demand
And I, don’t dare to misunderstand
Because I know she is still my friend.

Did you even put any effort into your outfit?
Look, even the audience thinks you’re nothing.
It’s so funny how you have such hope!

I sit on my bedroom floor above the imprinted mountain of clothes
Bc– every piece of clothing I wear she is opposed
And I know– never in my life to ever interpose her
Bc– I allow her to attach me to a leash–
And take the other end of the rope
Knowing that she is capable of conquering me into defeat
Yet so unwilling to lose that connection
So even with a slight raise of her brow
I beg for forgiveness
Bc somehow she is still my friend

Why does your face look like a bumpy road?
Your skin is so white and pale!
You don’t actually think you’re pretty, do you, bc that would be hilarious!

I sink my face into a river of my own tears
My head lifts up looking back at the reflection of myself—
No, the reflection of her
She stares back with bitter eyes
She stares back with disappointment in my eyes
Wait no, in her eyes
Her criticism piles onto my back, pressing me lower and lower into the ground
Every insult, every wound, every jab I take to the heart, I drop deeper into the soil, bursting into rotten roots
Waiting for her…
To water me
But she never does
And yet, I know she is still my friend

But, why?
Could I be so insecure to accept such a character as a friend?
Is that what you’re all wondering?
Because despite all her cons, she has some pros
She elbows me to be kind and merciful to others
–Bc she knows that the sisters and the brothers that we meet are fighting a battle of their own
–Bc she knows that even though my feelings are beyond well-known, they can be postponed if it means that nobody is left alone
–Bc she knows that forgiveness is the only way
Forgiveness is the only way to prevent that bitterness from running through my veins
–Bc she knows that forgetting all the pains is the only way to finally let peace rest in my brain
Bc she knows

So my answer is yes
Yes, I do accept such a character as a friend
But not out of insecurity – rather, out of a built-up desire to spread her mercy to those around me
Mercy powerful enough to transform tears into smiles
Smiles bright enough to maybe light up the end of the tunnel
Smiles bright enough to maybe even let out a soft chuckle
Smiles bright enough to maybe set light to the last piece of the puzzle
Yet I, I have yet to experience even a drop of her mercy.

By Summer Radwan



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