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“PRAY FOR THAT HOE! PRAY FOR THAT HOE!”

February 28, 2018

 

The first time I read that phrase I went from being taken aback to a full belly laugh in a matter of seconds.

 

And it won’t let me be. It keeps on popping up in my mind. And making me smile.

 

So what is a woman to do but write about it?

 

I subscribe to an online magazine called America Media. It’s a Jesuit publication with lovey inspirational, informative and real-life articles.

 

“That Hoe” appeared in an article by Tinamarie Stolz. Today Tinamarie is a campus minister at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She holds a master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

 

Time to backtrack.

 

Tinamarie, after obtaining a hard-earned degree, stunned her parents by announcing that, for a year of service, she’d be working for a stipend, aka “peanuts.”

 

Managing a food pantry and soup kitchen. In a less than desirable part of Detroit.

 

I can imagine her mom’s emotions on discovering that Tinamarie would be working in one of the poorest neighborhoods. With the second highest homicide rate in Detroit the previous year.

 

But our Tinamarie was not to be deterred.

 

Then came her first dose of reality.

 

She realized the man that came for breakfast every morning was a pimp.

 

And he’d show up after dropping off his “girls.”

 

She did not want to feed him.

 

And said so.

 

To be rebuked gently by the Catholic sister in charge –

 

“Mercy, Tinamarie, Mercy.”

 

Well yes.

 

But there was more to come.

 

There was a boy. Her best friend since 8th grade. Then, as a young man, her boyfriend for five years at college.

 

It didn’t work out and they split. But she was still hoping that maybe, just maybe… After all, ten years lay between them.

 

Then came the phone call. He was dating one of her close friends from college. Since shortly after their breakup.

 

She was raw.

 

Hurt.

 

Angry.

 

So very angry.

 

Definitely didn’t want to talk about it.

 

But one of the kindly souls that frequent soup kitchens picked up on her sadness.

 

And asked.

 

And pushed.

 

Tinamarie, sensing an understanding listener, cracked and poured out her story.

 

About her mate.

 

And her close friend.

 

And what advice did she get?

 

“Pray for that hoe! Pray for that hoe!”

 

And off went my mind.

 

My brain is a filing cabinet. And there’s a file marked

 

“ARCHIVE.”

 

In there I store –

 

  • Personal hurts and insults. Real or perceived.

  • Unresolved issues with family or friends;

  • Things I’ve read, or was told or saw that I’d rather forget.

 

I could even label that file, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

 

Truth is, it doesn’t work that way. It never really gets archived and I only add to it.

 

But when I “Pray for that hoe,” my archive file loses its Jumanji nature and settles down. Behaving like an archived file should.

 

Quiet.

 

Forgotten.

 

Forgiven.

 

At peace.

 

Never underestimate the Power of Prayer.

 

Cyber hugs. Blessings All. And prayers. Again and again.

 

Here’s Tinamarie’s story in her own words. Especially her description why

 

“Mercy is like soup.”

 

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

 

 

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