Unfortunate Signs 4: Try Praying

Richmond May Fair last weekend. Amidst the crowd, two men sit alone at a stall. Richmond Green was crowded, yet (at that moment) no-one was interested in their stall. The standing man turns his hands outward in a gesture that could be despair or resignation. The seated man smiles as if to reassure him. No-one else seems to be taking any notice.


There is nothing on their table, except perhaps a few pamphlets and one ball-point pen. Several bottles of water suggest that they are in for a long day. Their stall is distanced from the others. There is no sign of any affiliation, any church or group which backs them up.

Is ‘Try Praying’ advice to me, or to themselves? Why so tentative? (“Try Praying”, rather than “Pray!”) Who are they? Is their lonely situation evidence of why one might need to try praying, or does it suggest that praying didn’t work for them?

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