January 24, 2006

The boy

"Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees."
- Victor Hugo

"Do I have to pray out loud?" the boy asked his grandfather.

"No," the grandfather replied. "God hears you just the same if you pray inside your heart, as He does if you say your prayer aloud."

The boy chewed on this thought for a while. Then came time for family prayer. Each member took their turn, saying their prayer aloud. Last, came the boy. The family waited, expecting the air to remain silent.

You see, the boy, suffering through a traumatic situation, was broken inside. Beaten, bruised, battered. No, not physically. But then, rarely do people see the bruises on the inside, do they?

The boy was fragile, hanging on by a mere thread, grappling for some sign of hope in the middle of his awful situation. He needed God--wanted God--in his life, yet he couldn't understand why God would allow so many bad things to happen to him and his family. How could a God that was supposed to love him let this happen?

The family waited, each one silently praying in their own heart for the boy, for God to somehow help him through this trial that they all suffered through.

And then, somehow, somewhere deep inside, the boy found his words. "God, please help *Charlie. And please help me, God. Help me to be a good son..."

*Name changed