My father is a preacher.
Each morning he wakes up at 5:00am to pray.
Yesterday he told me that he prays for me to see the error of my ways.
As If I was Judas Iscariot holding a noose on the third day.
Some days, Some days he prays so fervently
His eyes begin to betray the fear that his prayers are no longer being answered.
His voice whispers doubt into his certainty
breaking under the weight of questions like
Why his mom died of cancer?
Or why his younger brother died when he was born.
And why his Dad passed away the day he turned 35.
for as long as my Father’s been alive by the vicious grips of death he’s been torn.
I’m afraid he’s never been able look back on better days.
The Days when he was considered my hero
I would follow where ever he’d go
Until he’d tell me bedtime stories to sleep
just so he could see the peace in my sleeping face.
When pictures of father and son would seal resemblances in place.
“Your son looks just like you!” they would say.
But He’s never been able to live in these days.
His story forever laced with the scars of unbearable loss
Where he keeps his pain hidden somewhere on empty cross,
And maybe I was collateral damage,
But it’s not his fault, he never knew the cost.
So he prays for me each morning.
I pray for him each night.
I am my father’s son,
bearing past pains left in his wake.
Where prohpecies of old could not have told him what was at stake
Until it was too late and now the pain of my father
becomes baggage I purposefully forget to claim
finding its way back through that tag that bears our last name,
or a face that shares his smile, and a cry that sounds the same.
For a while, I’ve broken under the weight of having to look back on better days.
Days when my father was never wrong,
And I would defend his honor for as long as this truth was plain.
“Oh Yeah? Well my dad is better than your dad.” I exclaimed!
And I miss those days. I’ll never have them back it’s too late.
I’ve seen the scars he bears that have become chapters in his book of pain
I can guarantee you,
these were portraits of my father that I was never meant to see.
And the pictures of him I’ve formed in my mind, already look a lot like me
You see, I am the child of a preacher.
And every night before I sleep I pray that his pain would recede
just long enough for him to see that he can be resurrected in new ways,
as if he were Jesus of Nazareth pushing that stone away on the third day.
And some nights, some nights I pray so fervently that my eyes would betray
how deeply I bear the pain of my father,
giving rise to the lies intertwined in bot our broken layers.
I’m not much of a religious man these days, but I am my father’s son.
And I hope that someday God would find a way to answer both of our prayers.