Opinion: Dear Lord, please let the Phillies win the World Series
At one time or another, most of us have tried to strong-arm God into granting us a request to solve a major or minor problem. It might be an illness we or a loved one might be experiencing, or it might be something frivolous such as allowing our child to come through with a hit during a pivotal moment in a Little League Baseball game this summer.
I was guilty of it myself. I would sometimes ask God to get me out of impossible fixes by promising if he would come through for me that I would never do another wrong thing in my life. Ever.
Most notable of these outlandish and selfish entreaties was when I was 17 and sneaked my father’s 1955 red-and-white Buick Roadmaster out of the garage to take my girlfriend from Coaldale on a date, even after I was forbidden by my mother to do so. On the way back from the Boulevard Drive-in Lehighton where we had gone for ice cream, the car skidded on a patch of ice, crossed the road and flipped over into a small ravine along Route 443 between Lehighton and Normal Square, demolishing my father’s pride and joy. Fortunately, my girl and I got out without a scratch.
As I stood there while police were taking information, I prayed that God would magically restore the car to its former pristine condition. I promised Him anything in return, anything not to have to face my parents who thought the vehicle was snug as a bug in a rug in the garage.
Not surprisingly, my fervent prayer was not answered. I figured God had more urgent things to take care of that night.
As I’ve aged, I’m not much of a religious person, so I never presume that I have dibs on God’s beneficence. It would be presumptuous of me to ask God for any favor when I pay so little attention to Him, but I have seen time and time again when others have no qualms about making the big ask even though their relationship with Him is comparable to mine.
I am fascinated by those who claim that God has answered their sometimes offbeat prayers. The spotlight fell recently on Caden Marge, an 8-year-old Philadelphia Phillies fan from West Chester who attended the June 5 game between the Phils and the Los Angeles Angels at Citizens Bank Park.
It was the bottom of the ninth with the Phillies’ Bryson Stott at bat. The score was tied an inning earlier on Bryce Harper’s grand slam, but the Angels came back with a run in the top of the ninth.
Down 7-6, the Phillies put together two singles, but they were down to their last out when Stott, the number 9 hitter in the lineup, stepped to the plate and worked the count to 3-2. That’s when NBC Sports Philadelphia camera operator Greg Farnese, a 28-year veteran in the business, zeroed in on Caden, who was in the left field bleachers and had his hands clasped in fervent prayer hoping for the hit that would carry his Fightin’ Phils to victory.
Then, BLAM! Stott delivered with a three-run, walk-off homer to give the Phils a 9-7 improbable (some have said miraculous) win.
As for the praying Caden, life for the 8-year-old suddenly changed forever as the image of him praying went viral. Stott caught up with Caden when the Phillies played the first game of a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 10. Stott gave the kid a Phillies jersey with Caden’s name on the back and an autographed baseball which said, “To Caden: Thanks for the Help! Go Phils! Bryson Stott.”
While it’s fun to pretend that God answered the youngster’s prayer, many feel as I do that it was mere coincidence - a nice one, mind you - but divine intervention? Unlikely.
Still, I am sure that there are some who are convinced that God’s hand had something to do with it. “Maybe God was in a good mood that day and wanted to do something nice for a sincere little boy,” my friend said.
Maybe, but it seems that God has far more important requests piling up around the world, none the least of which are in communities where unspeakable deaths have occurred at the hands of shooters, in Ukraine and other war-torn parts of the globe where people are living in desperation wondering whether they and their families will see the next sunrise, and in homes where parents are wondering where the next meal for them and their kids will come from.
There are many who deserve a helping hand in their hour of need, and I hope God comes through for them. I am not one of them, because I have not earned my props to ask God for favors.
By Bruce Frassinelli | firstname.lastname@example.org
The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.