Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Godspeed


An editied version of this story will appear in the book, but I wanted you to see the original, submitted story, too:

Daughters are comforted by the protection only a dad can give.

In 1995 a new comet was discovered outside of Jupiter's orbit. Steve, a dad in Southern California who is fascinated with astronomy, found out when and where the comet would be visible in his area. He planned to take Kelly, his six year old daughter, with him to see it pass through the night sky.

The evening of the comet’s appearance came and, hand in hand, they climbed to the top of a steep hill in the middle of town where a water tower stood. This was the spot Steve had selected, one from where he was certain they would have a great view as the comet made its way through the heavens. With a little time to spare, they talked as they waited for dusk to come, and gazed now and then into the northwest where the comet was supposed to appear.

Kelly was young, restless and growing bored, but Steve wanted her to understand how unique and memorable the celestial event would be. He began to explain how far away the comet actually was and how long it probably took for its light to reach earth.

He also used the time to talk about how creative God is, making all the stars, planets, and even comets, for simple humans to enjoy, just as he and Kelly would witness that evening.

Kelly looked at her dad and asked if the comet would fall out of the sky and hit the earth, maybe them there on that hill. He paused a moment, smiled, and reassured her that, no, it would not. She looked back into the twilight, feeling safe, just because her dad had said that she would be.

Near to its predicted time of arrival, they saw the comet streak across the northwestern sky, traveling low over the hills on the outskirts of Pasadena. It was faint in the distance, partially obscured by the lights of the city below, but they saw it travel past nonetheless.

The event lasted only moments, but at least for Steve, the memory of that night will last for years to come. Now, nearly ten years later, he still thinks about that comet and the night he shared a once in a lifetime experience with his precious daughter, the evening when she, while holding his hand, looked up at him and believed that he would do anything and everything he could to protect her.

And, just as he did that night, Steve still prays, asking God to keep his daughter safe, and give him the wisdom and ability to do whatever it is she needs of him.

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