Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pointless prayer

Having a child with an incurable tumor condition, bluntly put, really sucks. It's humbling too, all the pointing and staring and comments whenever we go out in public. You see, my son is deformed from a tumor wrapped behind the left eye and bone abnormalities in his skull. Just imagine a kite unable to fly because it's weighted down. Now you have a glimpse into my toddler's looks, ones that don't measure up to society's standards of what counts as beautiful.

Before I had my son, even after his brain and skull surgery I admit, I used to approach God with a list of all the things I thought God should take care of.  Cure him, God. Heal this disease, God. Help, God. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

It's taken a lifetime, but I've finally seen the futility of turning God into a genie to appear and grant me whatever I wish. What point is there in coming to God in prayer with manipulative motives? None.

Life as is. What is so. Reality. What is the point of prayer, I ask, if prayer makes no difference?

I got a glimpse into the purpose of prayer--to commune with God--of all places where my son goes for therapy. In the waiting area, a small boy stood by the fish tank. I watched him as he struggled to speak. Despite much toil, he could only muster loud moans and shrieks.

Initially, I felt sorry for the boy, even embarrassed. To ease my discomfort, I started to pray that God would heal him and help him speak. 'But what if that never happens,' I thought I heard back. With this in mind I looked at the boy. Then, as if my eyes opened for the first time, it dawned on me how God must see him: the sacredness, the holiness, the value of this boy's life. Despite the setbacks and disabilities, he still has purpose and meaning.

I went about the rest of the day with my son, hand in hand, reveling in the joy he offers the world despite looking different.

No comments: