I have an image of people all over the world, on their knees, in the… bathroom.
Before I joined Al-Anon, I never had any idea how much worship takes place there, but it seems to be prevalent. A near epidemic.
The first person I ever heard talk about praying in the bathroom was my sponsor. She has two children and a husband in her home, and sometimes a sick mother. So there’s very little privacy. She said it’s the only place she can be alone and close the door.
Her prayer partner calls her every morning at 6 a.m. and she goes to the bathroom and drops to her knees.
Since she told me that, it seems like I’ve heard a million variations on that theme. Well, at least several.
Usually, I hear that in an open AA meeting. In a time of crisis, at work, in a bar, the speaker heads for the bathroom and falls to their knees.
I believe in praying on my knees. It’s a gesture of humility. In fact the whole idea of prayer is a gesture of humility. It is an admission that there is a God and that it is not me.
I confess that I, too, have begun praying in the bathroom. Not at home. There, I like to pray at the edge of a bed. But when I help out at our family owned business. I’ve become accustomed to a short, lunchtime prayer break and it avoids the possibility of interruption and awkward explanation.
It’s a manufacturing facility, so the bathroom is not nice. But it’s at least a one-hole affair, with little squares of carpet on the floor. And I know who uses it.
I’m still a little creeped out about the idea of resting my knees on the floor of a public bathroom in someplace like a bar. I think that’s a real act of faith.