A Bad Father?

Two new next-door neighbors are getting to know
one another. As it usually does in the Deep South,
the question comes,“To what church do you go?”
A long pause, as if words won’t leave his mouth,

before the man answers,“I have a problem, you see.
At my last church there is this father, a good man,
who lovingly raises his children, then sets them free
as adults, wishing them well to do as best they can.

“Once a mugger attacked his oldest son in the father’s
presence. He stood by and watched, greatly saddened,
as the mugger killed his son. I confess it truly bothers
me that he didn’t intervene as the tragedy happened.

“Still later, his daughter was brutally raped and killed,
again in the very presence of the father. Once again he
just stood by and observed, although his heart filled
with sorrow and despair. How could it possibly be

that a loving father could stand by and do nothing to
prevent their deaths? When the church congregation
chose this father to honor, I had to refuse this to do.
Seeing others praise him causes me consternation.”

The other neighbor replies, “I can certainly see how
it would. They really decided to honor a father who
just stood by, instead of acting to prevent it somehow?
If I went to that church, I’d feel exactly the same as you.
It seems a rather strange path that congregation has trod.
By the way, what is this uninvolved, loving father’s name?”

“His murdered children number millions. His name is God.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      07.18.03