I've never been very religious. organized religion has given me a lot, no doubt, but god seems to give me far more through random encounters than through what I've ever received from an hour of devout attention at Sunday mass.
like yesterday, when I was walking to the nearest bus-stop from my friend's place (I was actually looking for a rickshaw, but it didn't look like they were interested in taking me anywhere). I called another friend who lives nearby, to see if he was free for a quick hi.
turns out he was in church.
I was right outside the church, and in no hurry to get home anyway, so I thought i'd do a quick march-past the pews outside to see if I could spot him. quickly, and from a distance, because I was probably smelling of whiskey and definitely looking and smelling like a sweat-drenched hobo with my soaked shorts and rumpled tee (the adventure that led to that is another story altogether :D)
I couldn't see him. but in those 30 seconds I caught a bit of the homily:
"the lady would walk by on the beach every evening and pick up broken and discarded bottles from the beach. and every time she would pick up one of those, she would say a silent prayer for the person who had thrown it there"
turns out, that's all I needed to hear that evening.
I went home a touched and determined man.
not because I'm planning on cleaning up beaches.
but because it's been ages since I've prayed for someone I didn't know personally. or for the secret intentions of people. or even just the greater common good.