Word Bytes | Prayer of the Children (Part 2)
Word Bytes is a montly flash fiction column. All these stories include an LGBT prsence, but it is rarely the focus. Rather than write pieces that focus on LGBT issues, I want it to be quietly in the background as a small detail of reality. Where it should be.
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Disclaimer: The following flash fiction strays from my normal path of fantasy writing to bring to light some all too real issues. These issues can be rather distressing, though not graphic. Please also note this is still a work of fiction. Characters, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
“Lord, please don’t take my son away.”
A happy family portrait sat on the nightstand next to her. Head bowed, kneeling at her bedside, the woman remembered her son’s dedication ceremony. She stood with her husband, before the church, holding her precious boy.
“Olivia and Carter, will you pray for your child daily?”
“Will you instruct him faithfully in the teachings of the faith, teach him to read God’s Word, and encourage him to pray?”
“Will you take him to church regularly to worship the Lord and help him stay connected to the boy of believers?”
“I direct my questions now to the congregation. Will you, by God’s help, be faithful in your calling as members of the body of Christ, to help Olivia and Carter be a faithful parent to God, and to help teach Nolan in the ways of the Lord so that he might one day trust him as Savior and Lord?”
Courage to change the things I can ,
Not a day had gone by that she didn’t remember her vows. She had prayed every day without fail. They went to church every Sunday. They were all involved in the community. They read the Bible as a family every night before dinner. So why was this happening?
“What did I do wrong?”
She had seen how her son looked at his best friend. Before, everything was normal. But recently, he looked more nervous. His actions more careful and distant, but his eyes always looked on the other boy with tenderness that was never there before.
“I’ve been faithful, so why?”
She had also seen how closed he had become, ever since this all started. He hadn’t played video games in weeks. He locked himself in his room and went to bed early. Worst of all, she heard the hollow sound his voice made when she asked him about his birthday.
“Why didn’t you protect my baby boy?”
She knew more and more churches in the area were accepting people like her son. She had gone to a service with her sister and was shocked that not only was a gay man allowed to come to the service, but he was playing the organ at the front of the church through the whole service.
But they were wrong to do that. Weren’t they? Pastor Morrison was new, she didn’t dare speak with him about it yet. All the elders said it was unfortunate that The Devil had penetrated their hearts and turned that whole congregation against God’s teachings. She lost count of how many congressional meetings were filled with complaints at how hard it was getting to find Godly pastors.
God made it very clear in his Word that being gay was not acceptable.
Who was right? Which path was right? She wanted nothing more than to follow God. But it wasn’t just about her walk of faith anymore. If she chose wrong, would her darling child spend eternity separated from God?
She knew her son was in pain. She wanted to help him, to hold him.
Tears flowed from the woman’s eyes and fell on two brochures. One affirmed God’s love for the LGBT community, and the other gave instructions on how to help cure her son.
“God of wonders, Lord of creation, help me. He’s my son.”
And wisdom to know the difference.
~ END of Part 2 ~
(Edit: Alexis) (Illustration: Pei-Ling Chiu)
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