Life has a way of transporting us from one moment to the next in the blink of an eye. A certain smell, a song, a glimpse of a photograph can make our senses come alive and take flight like a mother bird from its nest in search of that elusive something that will feed our soul. As I walked toward the sound of frantic whispers, I knew who it was, and looking back I must admit I knew what he was desperately pleading for before I ever stepped through the door to my bedroom. I slowly crept closer to the door, holding my breath and carefully placing each foot down as though I might avoid the inevitable land mine I was sure awaited me through that half open door. In slow motion I crossed the threshold, and what I saw is forever ingrained in my heart.
My seven-year old son was on his knees next to my bed, tiny hands barely reaching the top of the mattress, clasped together in fervent prayer. He begged God to allow us to remain in our home in Texas, rather than have to board a plane the next morning and head back to Puerto Rico where his daddy’s job awaited. As I knelt down beside him, and placed my arm around him, my own tears fell. My heart broke to see my little boy hurting, but it also swelled with pride that in his moment of need he sought comfort in prayer. He didn’t seek out his father, his sister, or even myself. He got down on his knees and prayed. We may be miles away from the tiny church we fell in love with eight years ago, but my son has carried the power of prayer with him across an ocean and hopefully a lifetime.
As I exited my bedroom, and gently closed the door behind me I entered a bedroom I haven’t stepped foot in since I was seventeen years old. The queen size bed with the faded brown comforter still held the small tear in the bottom right corner I tried to hide from my mom after my siblings and I repeatedly bounced on the bed in an attempt to touch the ceiling. If I look up I can see the water stains on that very ceiling, the same ones my dad and I would make up stories about when I would cuddle up beside him in bed. One day it was a ship at sea, another day a fire-breathing dragon, each a lesson in possibilities. Yet, the vision of my son on his knees has taken me back to the day I realized my dad wasn’t invincible. I was just a little older than my son is now, the house was quiet, and not one to miss a nap with my dad I walked toward my parents bedroom in search of him.
As I approached the door to the bedroom I could hear frantic whispers. I inched toward the door, not daring to enter, but needing to confirm what I knew in my heart. I saw my father on his knees on the side of the bed, tears streaming down his face, begging the Lord to save his older brother who was dying of cancer. I stood rooted in place though my legs wanted to run the other way, down the hall, out the front door, and back in time to a place where I still held the innocent impression that my father, my hero, was untouchable.
Through the years, I have held that vision of my father as he knelt in prayer and surrendered himself to a higher power. It taught me that none of us are invincible, that in our darkest hour we need to believe in something, that the power of prayer can give us hope no matter whether or not we get the answer we so desperately seek.
This post was written in response to the Weekly Challenge: Through the Door