O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works doth proceed, come, we pray, to the DMV. Make your presence known and lead us away from all temptation.

For the supervisor of the waiting room who repeats the same instructions all day every day, vainly hoping for a preponderance of the people to perceive and obey, grant kindness in his tone and peace in his spirit. Keep him from the creeping annoyance and give supernatural patience as he ministers to the huddled masses.

Protect from despair all of us, but especially the sixteen-year-old girl who just waited five hours only to fail her test and has now broken into a wail in the middle of the waiting room. Bring her back to herself, but most of all please come quickly and make her mother cease interrogating her about how in the hell that happened.

For the immigrant mother with her sweaty, beleaguered toddler asleep on her shoulder, bring the peace that passes all understanding and an ability to comprehend a foreign language and a bewildering foreign land. Give encouragement as she faces yet another moment in the third world after working so hard to come to the Land of Opportunity. Sustain her as they will not let her husband sit with her because, as she is the client, not he, she has to sit with the ones being tested but he is not allowed to. And bring him comfort as he is anxious to comfort her.

For the young lovers next to me, bring, swiftly we beg, either continence or a hotel room. You know which is best, but I do not, because I cannot get a clear view of rings or a lack thereof, due to their constantly moving and intertwined limbs. We praise you, O Lord, for the fact that the young man is speaking in dulcet tones and saying kind things–his longing for his beloved goes beyond her flesh. And, O Lord, what hope it gives us that anyone could even entertain desire in a place such as this.

For the middle-aged woman with the sound turned up on her phone’s game, who loudly sighs and makes exasperated comments to the room every thirty-two seconds, we ask that you would bring quiet and rest, and also an awareness that her strapless dress has gradually inched down so that we are all privileged to see much of her very purple bra.

We praise you, Father, for Mrs. Vicky, who, when our number was called after three hundred and fourteen minutes, greeted us with sympathy and compassion and asked us to call our state representatives and tell them about our six hours here and patiently explained to us why it takes so long. She works in the pit of hell, waiting on angry and tired and confused and dehumanized people, and she smiles. She explains to young people how to best manage the written portion of the driver’s test, and she even laughs about the similarities between Disney World and her work environment. We are so grateful for this reminder that no corner of the universe is without your presence. Even here. You have done a mighty work in Mrs. Vicky, and we ask you to continue it to the end.

For the elderly and those who suffer from chronic pain, we ask for your special provision, as they are not allowed to stand up in the building because of an Order of the Fire Marshall, and so they are forced to decide whether to stand outside in the ninety-three degree heat or to sit in chairs manufactured by Beelzebub himself. Give them strength of spirit and of body.

Lord, for the families who are without parents and the hospitals who are short-staffed and the many other places missing employees as two hundred and seventy-four people have taken an entire day off of life to come and grasp at legality, bring strength.

Lord, for each child here, grant supernaturally long battery life on whatever device will kill their brains most effectively. We know that their brains are precious, but their souls are far more so, and it seems that is our choice.

Father in Heaven, we praise you for never leaving us, not even when we want to leave ourselves. Send us out now and save us from spewing venom in our homes. After all, it is not their fault that we have been pilgrims in a far-off place today and many of us will not even return with the thing that we set out to get. It is not their fault, God. Help us chant it to ourselves all the way to the driveway and then forgive us when we fail in the first forty-one seconds.

We ask all these things in your Son’s name and with faith and gratitude that he died for us. Help us to know that he died even for those that continually choose not to fix this system, so that they may profit politically. Lord, we believe; help thou our unbelief. God, we praise you for laughter. The world is absurd and too much with us, and getting shushed for giggling too much with a teenage daughter in the DMV is a real help as You masterfully keep us in perfect peace. Amen.

Image credit: Hal Gatewood on Unsplash.