Henry Vu and the Praying Man – Conclusion

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It was the intensity of the bright light that woke him. He could not see anything, because of the light. Was he in heaven now? Wait – he tried to cover his eyes with his left hand but it would not move. Just as he was about to scream, he heard noises, people talking – in the hallway? There were carts making a lot of noise as they rolled on wheels.

So that was it, he was in the hospital. He vaguely remembered being wheeled in.  Weakly now, he managed to say, “Too bright!” as he stirred, trying to sit up. “Dad??” “Are you awake now?” He caught himself in mid-curse word, and stopped. “Can you turn of that darn light!?”

It was Madison, looking exhausted. “You gave us a real scare Dad, and you had seizures….that’s why they tied your wrists to the bed.” He motioned for her to undo his arms. As Bob sat up, he realized he had been there at least several days, and he guessed his daughter had been there the whole time.

“Dad, from here they are going to take you to rehab, probably tomorrow.” Bob harrumphed but said nothing else. He was suddenly keenly aware of his daughter……his only daughter now, suffering because of him……would this never end?

There was rehab, and something Bob had never had before – grief counseling. In fact, there was two weeks of it and he thought he would die from simply reliving the past. But he let it all go, and not only that – they taught him something there. They taught him how to live, to accept himself and to move on.

He only saw Henry Vu once in a while, usually Bob was outside walking when he noticed Henry in his priest outfit, giving Bob a small wave and smiling.

Madison was there every day and they talked about what Bob was learning about himself. She mostly just listened, but one day she mentioned, “Dad I wonder if you’d consider coming out to California.” “I sure wish you lived closer…..”

Bob did move out that way, and yes he still struggles. But you know what? He feels really good about life again, in fact he is back to selling pianos……like he used to do so many years ago.

He’s hoping too for the music to be reborn, inside himself.

     

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

Henry Vu and the Praying Man IV

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If you were to ask Bob, was it is easy getting his life back together, after having a supernatural encounter with an angel, he would tell you no, and heck no. But God had intervened in a real way, and Bob was forever changed.

As he picked up the phone one morning to call Alcoholics Anonymous, Bob knew this was just the beginning. It was tough not to drink, beyond tough, but after the phone call he sat down to pray. He even opened his Bible to the book of Psalms. It had been his favorite book, but he hadn’t even touched a Bible for years.

But it was his daughter Madison flying in from California, that gave him the strength he needed. He met her at the airport an absolute wreck from not having his morning shot of brandy. When he saw her coming through the gate though – joy took over, and he looked up saying, “Thank you!” to heaven.

When she spotted him she yelled, “Dad!” and began running as fast as she could towards him. He couldn’t help thinking of the many times she had done the same thing as a little girl, when he came home from work, so many years ago.

There were tears of course when they hugged. And Bob said, “Please forgive me sweetheart…….for not being there when your Mom died……Madison broke down in great sobs, as Bob continued….. “I fell apart years before that…..and I’m so sorry…..”

As forgiveness flowed right there at Gate 5, Bob noticed Henry Vu standing some distance away in the crowd. Bob also saw that Henry was weeping. Who knew that angels wept?

Being so amazed about Henry, and God’s intervention, Bob said out loud, “I never thought my Guardian Angel would be Vietnamese…..” When his daughter looked at him as if to say, what are you talking about, Bob said, “Nothing sweetheart….” but he began smiling. Henry just nodded and smiled back, as they walked by.

As they walked away from Gate 5, and towards the parking lot Bob was shaking so badly, he could hardly walk. Madison knew he had quit drinking, and said “Dad we need to get you to a doctor, and I’m driving!”

The conclusion next week!

       

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

Henry Vu – The Praying Man III

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It was dark by the time Bob made his way back to the car, but a light was beginning to come on in his mind. It began with something Henry had said. Bob walked a little slower as he began to realize……..that Henry had mentioned Madison, his daughter. He said, “Madison really needs you now Bob…..like never before.” But Bob had never told Henry her name…..

Chills ran up and down his spine, as he reached for the door handle of his Chevy. “Wait!! How did he know my name??” “I never told him……(Bob was beginning to shake now) I never told him my name……” He was stunned.

He turned quickly back in the direction of the church, and found himself running, he had to know for certain about this Henry guy – was he really a priest……or something else?? Once he made inside the foyer, he stopped dead in his tracks, as he looked into the sanctuary.

He saw Henry kneeling, and he seemed to be praying at the altar. Bob was continuing to shake but he managed to stumble with one word…. “Faather???” Henry said nothing, but he faded slowly without moving, and suddenly he was gone completely from sight.

Henry knew the timing was important, and he was always amazed at how simple the technique of the “angel fade” was, and yet how powerful it was for people. Henry and Bob had talked for nearly 3 hours, but Bob needed just a little extra help. Henry knew he needed the supernatural to jump in, and take him to the next step.

“Dear God!!” was all Bob could say, as he sank to his knees. And he prayed right there, still in the foyer, like he had never prayed before. He prayed for help to beat the alcoholism, he asked that God would help him through the grief. And even asked forgiveness for wanting to take his own life. He prayed for so many things.

He had no idea where to begin. As he finished praying, he was wiping his face with a handkerchief, and he heard Henry’s voice. “Start by talking to Madison. She’ll guide you from there.”

He looked up but no one was there. Bob whispered “Thank you!” And as he left the church, he was beginning to feel a tangible presence. It wasn’t Henry, but it was a presence for sure, beginning to fill him, and for sure hope was born….

    

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

Henry Vu and the Praying Man II

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Bob turned with a start, then sat back in the pew. Bob never asked how Henry knew his name but maybe he felt that God was answering his prayer, or maybe he was just too filled with grief to notice. Bob decided though to put the young Asian priest to the test with, “Can you help me to die?” “I’m sick of living.”

Henry sat down next him in the pew, and after a long pause decided not to answer the question, but he went straight for the heart of the matter, “Grief can be a terrible thing, and it will take us down completely……if we let it.” Bob seemed surprised and asked, “You know???”

“About grief? Yes, too much in fact……but why don’t you tell me your story.” Henry shifted and turned, trying to get comfortable on the wooden benches. Tears involuntarily began flowing down Bob’s face, but they were tears from many different emotions twisted and swirling.

Bob did open up, perhaps because they were sitting in a church. He shared about the horrible pain and treatments his wife went through, but more than that he explained about the fear. For years he was always afraid of her dying, or of her suffering. He hated seeing her in pain, and yet there was nothing he could do. He did pray of course, but over time his faith faded away.

“And……well……I didn’t want to touch her……you know.” Bob looked at the floor embarrassed, and fortunately Henry picked up on what he meant. “You mean intimacy?” Henry asked in a low voice. Bob shook his head yes, and continued, “Yeah, I was afraid of the pain…..the sickness that was taking over……and of hurting her even more.”

Henry shook his head with understanding, and mentioned, “Bob this is completely normal, there’s no need to feel embarrassed.” He continued, “In fact you were being the compassionate husband that you are, the man God created you to be……and you were hurting too, in unbelievable ways…..”

His voice trailed off, but Henry through his own tears, now streaming down his face, noticed a change taking place with Bob. Was it hope he was beginning to see?

As the candles in the sanctuary flickered, Henry searched for more encouragement to speak into Bob’s life.

    

To be continued.

      

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

Henry Vu and the Praying Man

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To be honest Henry dreaded his next assignment, as he coasted into the suburbs of Boston. The orders had been simple enough, from the Angel Command Center. He was simply to talk to a man, praying in an empty church. But what this man had been through, was hell on earth, and the man simply could not go on.

Henry knew that sometimes pain was a lousy teacher, and as Henry stood, (still invisible) at the back of the church he listened to Bob praying, or attempting to pray. “God I can’t do this, you know I’m not that strong, I can’t go on God……please let me die.”

Henry saw a video playing in his own spiritual mind, of Bob and his family years ago, and during a happier time. There was Bob, and his wife Sarah. They had two daughters, Katie and Madison. Henry saw many years of Christmas celebrations, all within a matter of seconds. Presents were unwrapped, there were pictures and Christmas trees.

That is, until Sarah got sick. As the girls went off to college, Sarah had a long painful, agonizing, downhill slide for more than 5 years. And that’s when Bod started drinking, unable to cope.

And now last week, Katie had died in a car accident when her car slid off the road and ran into a tree. Even worse there had been alcohol in her blood. So now Bob really did want to die.

Henry decided on his approach, as he took a deep breath, becoming visible as a priest, yes a Vietnamese priest. Bob was sobbing now, unable to speak.

Henry noticed the beautiful wood pews and walls, carved so beautifully, and stained glass windows, as he approached Bob. Henry lifted his head to heaven, and spoke a silent prayer. He dove in by clearing his throat, so Bob could hear him, and said, “Excuse me Bob……can I help you?”

To be continued this weekend.

     

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

A Different Kind of Love Story VI

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So yes, it was really weird hopping into bed, in the middle of the night, in the same room with Melody. Keep in mind these were twin beds! But sure enough, the scanning and the lights every night, meant Melody was in danger of being taken away….by whoever they were.

And Jacob? He was too scared to sleep upstairs, so he camped out on the floor of the family room. Melody and I were both grateful he slept through every nightly visit, by you know who.

The most difficult thing though about sleeping in the same room with Melody, was the waking up part. We were both dressed in pajamas but it was still….you know embarrassing. If I woke up facing her and the sunlight was streaming through, I always turned away. And when she woke up, she was always out of room within seconds.

I really enjoyed sticking close by them though most days. Melody and I would drop off Jacob at school in my car, and then I would take Melody to the university. She seemed to enjoy talking in the car. Even though I’m not a morning person, I learned how to open up. Why do women want to know so much about a guy?

And yes I finally told her I only work part time selling auto parts, because I’m in vet school. You should have seen her face light up!! She was nonstop after that, talking I mean. And every night at the dinner table Melody would listen to what I learned that day. And even Jacob would listen for a while, until he got bored, and went off to play video games.

On a warm day at the beginning of spring, we decided to go for a picnic. It was in town though, so there would be lots of people around. None of us wanted anymore scanning scares. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining, and the buds were beginning to show on the trees.

Something happened that day……..I’m not sure how to explain it. We began seeing each other differently, as if we had just woken up from a dream…….and for the first time…….we truly saw each other.

I was amazed to be honest. And she kind of….. had this coy look in her eye, almost mischievous. I started sleeping in the family room again, because of the way our relationship…..was…..well developing. And you know what? It was about that time that the Protectors, or whoever they were, stopped coming around.

I wonder if there ever were really aliens hanging around…….one thing I do now though…..Melody and I are very much in love now, and going strong.

And every once in a while Melody gets that mischievous look in her eye……

I hope you have enjoyed this series.

    

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest

A Different Type of Love Story V

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It was horrifying, but you know what? It was gone in a few seconds. When I say that, I don’t mean like it took off like a normal space ship. I mean it simply wasn’t there! Did they know we saw them, and that’s why they left? I have no idea.

I asked Melody, in a whisper, “Anything on your phone?” “No nothing.” I noticed Jacob in the backseat, shaking. I managed a weak smile, as I turned to him and said, “Jacob it’s going to be alright buddy.” It was a cliché but it worked.

As I started up the car again, Melody turned to me and said one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. She said, “Thanks for being here Nathan….” Ok, that one got me for sure, but I just nodded my head.

I put the car in gear, and rolled up to one of the nicest looking mini-mansions I had ever seen. “You mean…..you live here?” I simply couldn’t believe it! Jacob piped up as we all got out of the car, looking at the sky, “My Mom, is a scientist!”

Alright hear me – I was stupid, I mean maybe it’s a guy thing, but I had no idea this woman was as educated and as brilliant as all that. Why do men do that? Is it just our egos? Melody explained, “Actually, I’m a Microbiologist.” She smiled, like only she could. She knew she had me on that one.

If what Melody had been telling me was true, then no wonder the Protectors wanted her. They would need as many scientists as they could get their hands on, literally. I started seeing Melody in a new light then.

Once we were inside, we locked all the doors, and checked everything closely. It seemed to be safe. Melody started a nice fire in the family room. Of the 5 bedrooms, most were upstairs. But there was one that was on the main floor, next to the family room, and it had twin beds.

Melody said, “I think you should start out on the sleep sofa in the family room, but if the Protectors come around, you can duck in here, on the other bed.” She must have read my thoughts then, because she said, “Yes I trust you, not to do anything….” “You’ll sleep on the other bed!”

I just shook my head, but I got the message loud and clear.

  

To be continued.

    

Writing and Image© Copyright 2017, The Mystical Forest