Dear god, be a father to them..!

SOMETIMES we wonder as we see our loved ones in pain, why good people have to go through suffering. I remember my feelings many years ago, when I heard my dad was diagnosed with cancer: …the call that came in this morning all the way from San Francisco has stilled my laughter, at least for now…
“Dads cancer,” said my mom’s voice, “has reached the bone. He’s in pain!” “Dear God,” I pray, “don’t do this to a man who hardly caused pain to others. A man who taught me to be brave in the face of adversity. To laugh when troubles assailed me, and yet to cry with others in sadness.”
I remember days when even as a father with immense knowledge, he sat with me and listened to my half baked theories, not laughing them away, but shaking his head and sometimes agreeing and sometimes discussing, but allowing me to grow as a thinker, and not a parrot vomiting out tested formulas.
“Dear God,” I whisper, “just put your stro ng arm around him and let him feel your strength. Let him put his head against that omnipotent muscle, and feel his pain disappear, just as he in my days of childhood held me tight when cuts and bruises and later emotional hurts racked my body and my soul.
“Let him not feel the pain, dear God,” I cry, “shield him, just as he shielded his family from the onslaughts of the outside world. When cruelty and harshness, injustice and fear were stopped at the threshold and not allowed to enter, so that we inside, were nurtured in gentles and love.”
“Let your heavenly friendship envelop him oh God, just he became more friend than father as the years went by. Two friends who walked in the cold impersonal streets of foreign shore, watched the pigeons at Rockefeller Centre and the waters of the Hudson. Friends who respected each other for what they were and a friend who did not try to forge me in his mould, but let me blossom into my own form.”
“Dear God!” I shout, “why do good men have to suffer so? Why can’t you pick the cruel, the ruthless, the tyrants of the world, why pick a man for whom wonder was childlike, and for whom gentles was a way of life? Why God, why?” I ask in despair.
I feel an arm around my shoulder. It is his, my father’s. I sob, I cry, I weep childlike, unashamed, and then I feel his hand, wiping away my tears. I lean against his arms, and slowly feel a peace. Somewhere far away, I know, my Dad has felt my pain…..he feels not his own…..
“Dear God,” I whisper, “be a Father to him, just as he is still a father to me..!” May this prayer go to many of you, who are going through such pain right now..!
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