The truth

A soldier was asked to rush back home from the battle front because his father was seriously ill. He was permitted to leave as he was all that his father had.

When the soldier walked into the intensive care unit of the hospital, he saw that the semi-conscious old man, with tubes coming out of him, wasn’t his father. Someone had made a colossal mistake and rushed back the wrong man.

“How much longer does he have to live?” the soldier asked the doctor. 

“Not more than a few hours. You have come here at the right time,” said the doctor. 

The soldier thought of the dying man’s son fighting God knows where thousands of miles away. He thought of the old man holding on to life in the hope of being with his son one last time before he died. Then he made up his mind.

He leaned forward, held the old man’s hand and said softly, “Dad, I’m here. I’m back.” 

The dying man held the soldier’s hand, his eyes lit up and a contented smile spread over his face and remained so till he died about an hour later.

More stories in The Prayer of the Frog (Volume I) by Anthony de Mello.

Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. A spiritual teacher, writer and public speaker, De Mello wrote several books on spirituality and hosted numerous spiritual retreats and conferences. He continues to be known for his storytelling, which drew from the various mystical traditions of both East and West.