Friday, January 28, 2011

All He Wanted Was My Hand

I saw my dad today like I've never seen him before. He underwent surgery yesterday in the hope that the surgery would put the cancer to sleep for an undetermine length of time. I didn't go see him yesterday knowing that he would be 'out of it for a while.' But I had to see him today.

He was in dialysis when we first arrived and was brought back to the room about an hour later. He had his eyes closed as they brought him in and arranged the bed in its proper place. He kepted his eyes closed until I called out to him at which time he opened them and began heavy crying and saying something about being with him and he reached out his hands.

I took his hands and assured him everything would be alright, trying to comfort him best I could. He said he hoped so and he pulled my hands close and tight to his chest and continued to cry.

I called out to God, "It's that time God! I need you to touch my dad. I need you to give him that comfort I've been praying for. I know you see him, Lord and I know you are crying with him. God please touch my daddy."

I could have three fingers amputated from my right hand and still count the number of times I've seen my dad cry on the same hand. Once was when he came to hear me preach a revival, the only time he has heard me preach, and the other as a little boy on the day we became a separated family. He has always been so good at holding in his emotions, but now the season has changed and the weather is bad. He doesn't understand what's happening and he's hurting so bad. Life can be so inhumane.

I held my dad's hand for a long time, first bending over his bed til my back was hurting to bad, then on my knees beside his bed til my knees hurted to bad then back to my feet, back and forth, back and forth. He held on, my hands in his, tight against his chest. He didn't speak much, just held my hands and closed his eyes and tears just streamed down the side of his face until he dozed off.

He didn't sleep long before the nurses came in and asked us to step out so they could do some of their duties that I won't describe here, but I told him I love him and I would be back. I had to come home, no, I wanted to come home. I wanted to get a way for a while and let it sink in a bit.

My dad, the strongest man I've ever known; my great teacher of compassion and love of family and friends; the greatest giver of a smile you could ever meet, and all he wanted was to hold my hand. How powerful and meaningful is the gift of a hand.

Merciful God, allow my daddy to feel the warmth of your hand and the gift of your grace. Amen

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