The Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier

I asked for strength and
God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and
 God gave me problems to solve.
 I asked for prosperity and
God gave me brawn and brains to work.
 I asked for courage and
God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience and
God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and
God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and
God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted and
I received everything I needed.
My prayers have all been answered.
– Adapted from the Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier

In a blue-white hospital desk in Bombay lies a pledge that is unlikely to be noticed: On white paper, in small font, ahead of the files that mark patient names. The nights are restless, and I have time to potter about passageways. I could have been reading, however sometimes, even books have little solace. I thumb through the patient files, look over the Doctors- on- Call, sit on the cane sofa at the reception, and then watch as the nurses steal sleep. Then, I discover this note. In my darkest hour, these words balm, soothe, comfort.

Days later, after the cries of bickering relatives and agonized children with cancer and inconsolable relatives of the deceased have died, these words stay with me still.

You may be fortunate enough to have a plateaued life, but not everybody is.

That can be fortunate too.


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