A girl whose father had abandoned her family when she was very young is shattered when her mother passes away and finds her faith in God is gone until she meets the pastor.
Diana Landers was just seven when her father left. Her mother, Molly, was a loving, hard-working woman, and she did her best to fill the void in her daughter's life. "Daddy loves you, Diana," she'd say, "But he needs to find his way in life. You'll see, one day God will guide him back."
But belief in God wasn't something that came easily to Diana. She spent too much time seeing her heartbroken mother praying and trying to hide her tears. Surely if there were a God, he'd answer Molly! But he never did...
The events of her life led Diana to lose her faith in God. | Source: Shutterstock.com
Diana grew up, and when she was twenty, her mother started getting sick. At first, Diana thought it was just the change of life, but one Sunday, Molly fainted while getting dressed to go to church, and Diana called an ambulance.
At the hospital, Molly was placed in the intensive care unit, and one of the doctors came to talk to Diana. "Miss Landers, your mother should have been in hospital weeks ago! I told her this could happen..."
The miracles we want may not be the miracles we need.
Diana was stunned. "She knew? What do you mean she knew?"
The doctor looked confused. "Why, that her cancer was progressing." he said, "The chemotherapy didn't work..."
Diana's father left his family and she grew up alone with her mother. | Source: Unsplash
Diana gasped. "My mother has cancer?" she cried, "But she didn't tell me! I didn't know! What can we do to help her?"
The doctor shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry. Miss Landers, but we've done all we can." he explained, "Now all we can do is make your mother comfortable. Some people find comfort in prayer..."
"Prayer?" said Diana bitterly, "I've seen my mother praying all my life and spend all her time in church and look at where she is? Where is God when you need him? Tell me that? What has religion done for her? She's dying anyway, isn't she?"
Diana walked out of the hospital sobbing and sat on one of the benches in the surrounding garden. She was devastated. Her father was long gone, and her childhood dream of finding him and bringing him home to her mother had faded away as she'd grown.
Now her beloved mother, the center of her life, was at death's door. "Please," she cried, "I can't stand any more pain..."
Diana didn't believe in God, but Molly was devout. | Source: Unsplash
Diana felt a gentle hand on her head, and a soft woman's voice said: "My dear, take your prayers to God, and He will ease your sorrow."
"God!" cried Diana angrily, "It's God who's taking my mother from me! You want me to go to church and beg for a miracle?"
The woman sat down next to Diana and took her hand. "Listen, my dear," she said, "God's covenant with Man means that we go our own way, make our own choices and mistakes. It's our free will --God's most precious gift.
"Otherwise, we'd be soulless puppets! God gives us freedom, and that means we feel joy and pain. He won't interfere in our choices, but He does give us comfort..."
"Comfort?" asked Diana cynically, "I'm sure He does if you make a big enough contribution to the parish, right?"
Diana realized her mother was dying of cancer. | Source: Unsplash
"Oh my dear," the woman said sadly, "That's not how it is at all. God gives us His love and His strength -- but we have to ask for it."
"Well, forget it," said Diana rather rudely, "I don't believe in God."
The woman laughed. "That's all right, dear!" she said, "God believes in you!" And the woman got up and walked away. When Diana was feeling calmer, she went up to see her mother.
"Mom," she said, "Why didn't you tell me you were so ill?"
"Oh, my love," Molly said, "I wanted us to have our last few months without fears and sorrow! I love you so much! I've been praying to God to protect you when I'm gone..."
"My dear, take your prayers to God, and He will ease your sorrow." | Source: Unsplash
"Stop it!" cried Diana, "Please, mom, if God wanted to protect me, He'd heal you!"
Molly shook her head. "No, my love, that's not how it works. We get the miracles we need, not the miracles we want!" Diana didn't want to upset her mother, so she said nothing more.
As she was walking home from the hospital, she saw a small church and found herself walking in. There was a serene silence in the nave, and Diana found it soothing. She sat in one of the pews. "Listen, God," she said, "I'm not much for praying or believing, but I'm not here for myself.
"My mother is a good woman, and she's loved you all her life, and she needs a miracle God. So if You're real, if You're there, I guess this is Your chance..."
Diana sat there with her head bowed, but there was no fanfare of angels and no heavenly light. Instead, she heard a man's voice: "Excuse me for interrupting, but are you alright?"
Diana went into the church to pray. | Source: Unsplash
Diana raised her head and saw a kindly-faced man with a cross hanging on his chest. He was obviously the pastor. "I'm fine," Diana said, "I'll be going..."
But the man put out his hand and said: "Please tell me what's wrong, maybe I can help!" Somehow Diana found herself opening up to this man, telling him everything -- her pain at the loss of her father and her sorrow at her mother's imminent death.
"Why don't I come to visit your mother with you?" the pastor asked, "She's a believer, so maybe I can bring her comfort." Diana agreed to meet the pastor at the hospital the next day at 13:00.
When she walked into her mother's room with the pastor, her mother gasped: "George! How did you know..."
The pastor was shocked. "Molly?" he asked, "Is that you? But..." He turned and looked at Diana. "So YOU must be my daughter!"
The pastor was Diana's long-lost father. | Source: Pexels
Diana was stunned. "You are my father? But how..."
Molly was smiling, and tears were running down her face. "Diana, the miracle I asked God for was that you wouldn't be alone when I died --, and he's answered my prayer!"
George, Diana's father, explained that he'd taken the wrong path, drinking and gambling, and had left his family behind, but after many hard years, he'd found his faith and started to serve God.
He'd looked for Molly and Diana to make amends, but they had moved. Now, finally, there were reunited. A few days later, Molly passed away peacefully in her daughter's arms, knowing that Diana was with her father and in God's hands.
Molly died in peace knowing her daughter wasn't alone. | Source: Unsplash
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