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A Problem with Simple Faith

Several years ago, my father passed away at 88 years of age. During his last adult years, my father lived with us in Texas. Before that he lived in New York City. His family lived in an area of New York called Harlem, in a section of Harlem called Mouse Town, a neighborhood that Reader's Digest said was the toughest section in the United States. The two years before my father came to live with us in Dallas, he was beaten up twice by thugs. Once he was knocked down two flights of stairs and went to the hospital. The second time he was beaten up, he developed a hernia.

My father didn't know what the hernia was, and being a man of simple, perhaps even simplistic faith, he asked God to heal him. But nothing happened. When he finally wrote to me to tell me what had occurred, it was obvious that he was deeply upset. I received his letter in the morning, and by that afternoon I was on a plane to New York. A day or two later, I brought my father back to Texas, where the surgeons successfully operated on him.

My father felt that somehow God had let him down. He had prayed for healing, and the healing had not occurred. I tried to explain to my father that the hand of the physician was the hand of God, but he shrugged all of that off, and the last eight years of my father's life were not good ones. Not only were these years a time of declining health, but he went through them with a diminished faith.

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