- Fear is a choice.
- Pessimism is a choice.
- Anger is a choice.
- Doubt is a choice.
- Joy is a choice.
- Optimism is a choice.
- Happiness is a choice.
- Peace is a choice.
- Faith is a choice.
- You always have a choice.
I pray for what I know. My knowledge forms the limits of my prayers.
Sometimes, I am unaware of my own needs. I do not know how to pray for myself.
Speak with me, and it may become a prayer.
I pray because I know not what to say.
I almost saw him cry. It was at lunch yesterday afternoon. A local civic group was hosting a fundraiser on the grounds of the farmer’s market. A few minutes earlier, dad remembered he’d purchased two tickets for BBQ chicken lunch plates. He couldn’t eat until after his surgery, which was still a couple of hours away. We weren’t scheduled to check in until 1:45. He thought my mother, my wife, and I might want some lunch, and the food was already paid for. Why not try and eat? I didn’t have much of an appetite. It seemed like a good time to take a break and breathe fresh air. The ride might give us a chance to talk.
The farmer’s market is less than ten minutes from their house. We pulled up alongside the long row of tables where volunteers were preparing the to-go plates and rolled down our window. Three of his old friends and colleagues greeted us and took our tickets, two men and one woman. Two of them are members of his church community. They had only recently heard of his diagnosis. As one touched his arm and said, “We are praying for you,” another held back tears. At that instant, my dad turned his head away from me, and he, too, did the same. I had never witnessed this level of emotion in my father. The old man choked up. This was uncharted territory. We were picking up BBQ chicken lunches, at a farmers’ market, under a water tower, a place I’d been to hundreds of times before, and I saw a person I’d never met. To paraphrase the words of God at Jesus’ baptism: this is my beloved father in whom I am briefly amazed and well-pleased.
The moment ended as quickly as it came. He composed himself. I took the two plates of food, and he told me about the importance of supporting local civic organizations.
I spend a great deal of time writing prayers and praying for others. I’m glad people are praying for my dad. He even mentioned that the surgeon prayed with him before his procedure. He didn’t ask me to pray with him. I tried to say something just as they were taking him back to be prepped. I couldn’t quite get the words out. They, like me, were jumbled. All I managed to utter was, “Go with God.” I hope somehow, someway, he and the deity I intended to hear them knew what I meant.