|It was night. Late at night.
She was sitting there, alone.
Everyone had gone home.
But she was still there, alone.
The brown box which contained her father was there with her.
The accursed brown box. The final bed of her father.
Her father. The one she loved.
He lied there, in the accursed brown box, asleep. He would never wake, again.
The crickets were singing at a distance, nearby, oblivious, indifferent to the piercing pain that numbed her. How selfish they were! Didn’t they know that she had just lost her father… forever?
The Taoist priest had chanted loudly during the funeral. He was opening the way for her father to journey into his new after-life. She wished he wasn’t the one to conduct her father’s funeral.
She held tightly to her cross. So tightly it bit into her palm. Red liquid flowed.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one came to the Father except through me.”
These words, they had always been her comforts. What joy they had been to her when her eyes were first enlightened to the reality of His love and she took that first step to accept Him into her life. Yet, these were the words that were piercing her, now.
Repeatedly, cruelly, again, and again.
“Please accept Jesus, Daddy,” she pleaded, at the sick bed of her father.“I love you, my child, but I am a staunch Taoist.” He was determined that he did not need Him, until the end. Why was he so stubborn?
She wanted to scream, she wanted to shout, she wanted to do something to stop that burning pain within.
Why didn’t He save her father, why didn’t He?
“My father, is he going to be in hell?”
“God has a purpose for everything, Shu Mei.”
“Cut that out, pastor, tell me the truth!”
“Shu Mei, I am sorry.”
“It is a sin to say that.”
“Oh, shut up!”
They will never understand. They are from Christian homes, Christian families. All their loved ones, all their relatives are Christians. What do they know of her pains?
“I will change place with my father if I can. I will take his place. Oh, God, I really will. Where is my father, now?”
He disappeared. He never spoke a word to her. She knew the answer to her question. She didn’t want an answer.
“My God, my God, why had you forsaken me!” She screamed.
The red liquid fell from her palm like rain-drop to merge with the puddle of her tears that formed on the ground.
She was oblivious to a shadow that stood behind her. He had been there for a long time. He had never stirred. His right hand was placed on her shoulder, hand that made the star, hand that was pierced on the cross, but hand that could do nothing to alter the free-will of someone who chose to reject Him.
The tears that fell from His face and the words that He longed to say were shut off from her eyes and ears. But it did not matter. He stayed there with her.
It was night. Late at night.
She was sitting there, confused.
Everyone had gone home.
But she was still there, in pain.
It rained. She was not alone. He was sobbing.