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In the news lately there has been a rash of child drownings that caused me to remember a prayer I clipped from the Old Louisville Times in 1966. I have files of newspaper clippings and magazines, and quotes from writers of books, something that will cause my children to gasp at when they find them someday. I thought some of your readers might find the prayer as beautiful as I did.
The scene was of a child's funeral in an old church. The minister called on John Dettor for a prayer. John was a sort of recluse and didn't have many close and confidential friends. He did not seek them. But as he lifted his voice, there came a sort of musical tremor to the tones and every ear was in rapt attention. For it was something that reached the inner chambers of the heart, something that stirred every sleeping memory of golden childhood, something that held spellbound every fiber of sympathetic impulse.
Mr. Dettor's Prayer
"Thou almighty one, in whose presence we stand. Once as this child who rests in eternal sleep before us, thou has brought us along the sterner realities of life, but the sweetest music that we heard along the way was the tattling of a childish voice. And why should the petals of the bloom of childhood droop and fade away? We do not question. We only ask. And shall we resent this taking away? Shall we allow it to wither up our faith and to embitter our spiritual love?
"The birth of a child is a miracle. The love of that child for the parent is a miracle. But the parental love is God's own blessing revealed. And as the river flows on to the sea, so that love must flow on. The parting is but the severing of the golden cord which angel fingers shall reunite. And sometime, someday, when our weary feet are treading the last mile of the earthly pathway, the gleaming stars will beckon us on, and we shall find renewed strength in the journey.
"For something greater than all left behind is awaiting us over there, and when we come, the same little arms will entwine around our necks. The same little lips will brush against our own, and the same little voice will whisper, you have waited so long. But the waiting and the parting will all be forgotten in that united love that has God's promise of eternal continuance. And all shall be well."