Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping Faith

Faith can be a tenuous thing sometimes. A few days ago, J and I were watching the movie The Secret Of The Magic Gourd. The lessons it teaches are important ones - having all your wishes granted can often lead to unforeseen trouble and working hard to earn something is the best reward possible. As luck would have it earlier in the day, J's faith was put to a little test.

She had done her homework and put it away in the homework folder which also happens to be the folder in which her teacher sends a battery of paperwork home each day. One of my daily chores is to sift through those papers, attend to any that need attending and trash the rest. But it gets even more complicated. Often classwork is sent home without anything to indicate that the teacher had reviewed or graded it - in the self-same folder. I can't imagine why it would be horribly difficult to have three color-coded folders for the three different types of paper-work.

So, the previous night, while going through the three-timing "homework" folder, I had inadvertently removed the homework sheet. This is not the first time that I have made such a mistake. Luckily, I have discovered it before going to work and have dropped it off at the school. Even her teacher has come to expect that missing homework will show up before 9:00 a.m. This time, I did not notice the homework and did not bring it in.

Right after we had watched the movie, J started to cry and said "You say if you pray to God with all your heart for something, you always get it. So why did I not get my homework. I prayed really hard but God did not listen to me" There was also the fact of her not being at fault. She had done her part and yet was penalized like she had not. There was disappointment at the unfairness of what had happened and a certain amount of righteous indignation. She wanted to be angry at me but could not do so in good conscience given my excellent track record with bring in missing homework - J tends to be very fair while assigning blame.

While all of that was easily resolved, the issue of faith was quite another matter. I am guessing J's prayers have been answered so far or situations have resolved themselves to her satisfaction. It was hard for me rationalize what had happened while reaffirming the value of her faith in prayer. We talked about lessons learned and how sometimes the lesson is far more valuable over time than immediate wish fulfillment and the movie we had just watched became an excellent point of reference. J went to bed feeling a lot better.Maybe such is the power of prayer.

1 comment:

ggop said...

I love these vignettes into J's school life. Reminds me of my early school days.

I can't honestly recall when my first prayer was not answered and the crushing sense of disappointment :-)