What can YOU say in six sentences?
I sit beside my father-in-law where my children play with their cousins in the sand, and he speaks in a low voice so his pregnant daughter will not hear, "Why do you think God is letting this terrible thing happen even though I pray for help?"
His daughter stands nearby with her sister and aunts, her belly sixteen weeks full of a child with only a partial brain.
"It's more God's stage than his will, a place where anything can happen, and our prayers are meant to center and console, prepare us to cope," I say to him, then I reconsider the power of prayer and decide that since it is a state of mind, it can be shared by many, that it does have the power to change situations, but only if those situations are not fixed...grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can....
His daughter and son-in-law have already spoken to a priest who will baptize the child if he is born alive, a soul without a vessel if such a thing exists.
"Some people lose faith in God," he says, his timing odd at age eighty-two when his mind and joints are so rigid.
I watch the children kick piles of sand into storms of grit, warn them to protect their eyes.