Why, after all I had known in my life, did I find it so hard to believe? The sad truth of it is, while I did not hold to any doubts concerning the existence of God, I did doubt—in fact, if I am honest with myself, and with you who are reading these words, I did not expect that God would give ear to my prayer. Or, to state the case in plainer manner, I expected Him in His omnipotence to hear my prayer. But I did not expect Him to care.
Having lost count of all the times, thousands, at the least, that I had besought the Almighty throughout my life to remove from me my burden of oppression, only to keep transforming with each waxing of the moon, I had become accustomed to my prayers falling, or so I believed, on calloused ears. True, I could have counted my many years of reprieve while I lived among the Marmorca, treating myself with the witch’s drugs that prevented my transformations, as an answer in the affirmative from God—but it is human nature, is it not, to forget with haste our blessings while calling to memory again and again our curses, and magnifying them in our recollections? I could have counted the witch’s potion as an answered prayer, but had instead credited her, the shriveled old hag, and the potency of her magicks, instead of attributing my long-lasting relief, temporary though it was, to God. In my secret thoughts if not in my prayers, I thanked the witch for my relief instead of praising God. From my vantage, God had assisted little in the endeavor. The witch and I had accomplished all the work. Or so it seemed to me then.
That last day in my cell, waiting for nightfall and moonrise, I prayed. As the Apostle taught, I prayed without ceasing. But I had no faith that God would answer me.
In His mercy, He answered anyway.