In spite of it being a Sunday, Rohan wasn’t excited about his favorite cartoon program in the television. He was just sitting in his room, looking out of the window, his tiny little mind filled with thousand questions today.
Usually, Sundays are Rohan’s favorite; like most other kids. He would come back from Sunday school and watch his favorite cartoon show on television. Then his mother would make the most delicious meal; the Sunday special. This was followed by an afternoon nap and later in the evening he would go out to play with his friends.
But today was different, today Rohan wasn’t interested in any of those things. He kept thinking about the story he learned, the story of King Job and his love towards God in Sunday school.
Rohan knew one thing very clearly that there was only one person who could answer all his questions patiently. This person had a way of explaining things, in a way that Rohan would not forget it for a long time. He decided to go and meet Pappy in the evening after his afternoon nap.
Pappy was 79 years old and used to stay at the end of the street in a small house. He was a small man, (and) walked with the help of a walking stick. Had a bald shining head, which would always be covered by an old flat cap and had a thick long white beard. There was a small garden and a porch in front of his house. He lost his wife about 12 years back and had no children). No one knew his real name, everyone just called him Pappy. In fact no one knew much about him. He would just sit in the porch the entire day or spend most of the time in his garden. He loved children, though most of them were afraid of him. But Rohan was not; in fact he was quite fond of him. Pappy liked Rohan too.
Rohan got out of the house in the evening and instead of going to the play ground he walked towards Pappy’s house. As he reached the fence he saw Pappy working in the garden as usual. Rohan opened the main gate and walked in. Pappy’s eyes lit up seeing little Rohan walking in. He said ;
“Oh Rohan good you came by, come here, let me show you something interesting.”
Rohan walked towards him. Pappy showed him the new type of flower on a plant he had planted; he said “See Rohan I successfully crossed two different species of Roses and made a new one… it is called “Grand flora. A grand flora is a cross between a floribunda and a hybrid tea.”
Rohan asked “How many types of Roses are there Pappy?”
Pappy took out his gardening gloves, went up to the porch and sat in his favorite rocking chair, Rohan sat next to him. Pappy said “There are about 15000 species of roses cultivated across the world. Roses are valued for their romantic symbolism but their blooms are also edible and have the flavors of green apples and strawberries. And did you know that Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rosie O’Donnell each have a rose named for them.”
Pappy was like an encyclopedia to Rohan. “Wow, how do you know so much about roses?” asked little Rohan.
Pappy walked up to his rocking chair in the porch and sat down. Rohan went and sat next to him, looking at him in anticipation, waiting for his answer.
Pappy looking far away slowly said with a faint smile “My wife use to love Roses. I would grow different kind of Roses to impress her. She treated each of the rose plants like her baby.”
“You loved her a lot, didn’t you?” said Rohan.
“Oh I still do, I still loves her a lot.” Pappy said.
“But she isn’t there anymore…” said Rohan confused.
Pappy smiled at him and said “Son, sometimes love is so profound that physical presence is not important”
After pondering on that thought for a while Rohan gave up, it was too much for his little brain to comprehend that… and meanwhile Pappy seemed to be lost in some thoughts. Rohan broke the silence “Pappy, I wanted to ask you something. Today in our Sunday school I heard the story of King Job, that how he had everything in life, but God took away everything from him one by one and that King was left with nothing but still he praised the lord and kept saying “Naked I came from my mother, and naked I will return. The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken away! May the name of the LORD be praised.”
Pappy replied “Oh yes such was the greatness of King Job, God put him in such of adversity, but he still didn’t lose his faith. He kept praying to God to make him stronger so that he could stand the test he was being put through. Though he lost everything, his kingdom, his children, his cattle, and his people and became a pauper, never once did he lose his faith and love for God. And see the power of love, faith and prayer; gave back everything that he had taken away from him”. Pappy looked at Rohan, smiled and kept his old weary hands on his shoulder and said “It is a miracle indeed.”
Rohan looking a little confused said “Pappy what faith, prayer and miracle are, I don’t really understand. Is it like magic?”
“In a way, but not really, prayer is talking to God…” Pappy said.
“Like I talk to you? Or my folks or my teachers?” asked Rohan.
“No no my dear… its much more than that… let me tell you a small story.” Pappy said.
Pappy started to tell the story… “there was a little boy like you, one day he was playing with his younger brother who was only a few months old. Their mother was at the neighbor’s house while this young boy was alone with his little brother. While playing his younger brother got a cut on his finger and it started to bleed and he started crying in pain. The young boy didn’t know what to do, he got really scared. He didn’t know how to stop the bleeding or how to help his younger brother. He then remembered that his parents always prayed to God whenever there’s a trouble or whenever they needed help. His parents always prayed before eating or before going to bed and on special occasions seeking God’s help and to keep them safe. He decided to pray for his brother but the trouble was he only knew one prayer which his mother had taught him to say before eating, that was “God bless this food. Amen!”
So he took his brother bleeding finger in his own hands, closed his eyes and said “God bless this food Amen” and in a while the bleeding stopped and his brother stopped crying.
Pappy continued… “so you see my dear prayer is talking to God and not having to worry what you say and how you say it because HE knows what your heart means. Now the little boy knew that if he prays, God will heal his brother, that, my son is faith. And God did hear the little child and healed his brother, the bleeding stopped and he stopped crying; it is a miracle not magic but miracle.”
Rohan was listening to Pappy intently as if he didn’t want the story to finish. Pappy then looked at his watch and realized it’s getting late. He said “Oh dear didn’t even realize it’s almost 7, it’s getting dark. Rohan let me walk to down to your house.”
Rohan got up and gave Pappy a tight hug and said “Thank you Pappy, that was a wonderful story. Now let’s race to my house, let’s see who wins.”
Pappy laughed and said “Me? And Race. Now that would be quite a miracle, wouldn’t it.”