One of my best friends lost her father earlier this week to cancer. I never thought we'd be dealing with the death of a parent during our quarter lives. (It's supposed to happen in 30 years or so, right?) So, my emotions are conflicting, but on this I'm clear: this prayer is for her.
Prayer #38: Our Parent's Company
Dads are supposed to know everything. How do I throw a football, how do I balance my checkbook, can you edit my paper, what is the opposite sex thinking, what did you want to be when you grow up, how did you meet mom, what are your dreams for me, what makes a full life.
So what happens when your dad goes away before he's done answering you, much less himself? And what if he leaves you with more questions? Less memories? More regrets?
We humans can be foggy creatures. Our motives are unclear; our reasons, obscure. We lift one another. We wound one another. And for all that, we'll never know anyone -- parent, sibling, friend, spouse -- as intimately as we know ourselves.
Still ... shouldn't we try? Isn't it worth the joy of learning, despite the hurts?
So many questions, Lord, and no one to answer them. We shout them to You in hopes of a response. Sometimes we get them. Sometimes, it's silence. And therein lies the hardest challenge: to believe You are there, listening, compassionate, even though perhaps You can't answer. Not yet, anyway.
May we understand our mortality, then -- not in the sense of final death, but of our limitations. For if even You can't always give us what we crave, yet love us throughout, then it helps us to forgive the humans in our lives ... and to love them in return.