Lord, Your Will Be Done
Note and Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't own M*A*S*H and its characters and storylines (CBS and 20th Century Fox do). I just wrote this story with no copyright infringement, I swear! One-shot, I'm trying to get all of the main characters during or after "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". It's now Father Mulcahy's turn, after thinking out what he needs to do, especially when he's sitting at the 8063rd. This is a late Christmas present to SamandDianefan10 (Melinda), so a Happy Holidays to her and her family! Everybody else: enjoy! Please review!
Before a statue of Jesus – small, yet comforting to the former chaplain of a M*A*S*H unit three miles from the Front Lines – Father Mulcahy kneeled, his head lowered in supplication. He had never seen anything like it during his war years, but he was still humbled before its presence, taking console from it, putting his problems aside, as he prayed.
I kneel here alone in my tent, knowing that it is all over now. Lord, thank you, oh Lord, the war is over. The unit is safe and going home, the orphans are safe without destruction around them. But Lord, this sad war is over. Three years of fighting have ended up with this: thousands of orphans, many wounded…and more dead. Oh, God, take into Your care these people, especially their families, and those who have nobody left because I cannot. I cannot take them into my care anymore.
But, I now sit here at the 8063rd M*A*S*H, before I am forced to leave for the United States, and think about what You have given me and what I can do with it. Dear God, I am growing deafer by the hour. I already admitted as much before I was nearly run over by a jeep before I left the 4077th behind me, saying how much I would love to teach deaf priests and work with the Korean orphans. However, You have put another obstacle in my road, a duty I thought I would be doing for You, another service I thought would please You.
If I felt so unneeded at the 4077th, I feel worse now. At least, during the war years, people talked with me and I heard them in confessions or even when they needed help with a problem. Or, early in the war, Lord, You gave me the orphans to watch over, to care for when they needed a helping hand. Oh, I even helped to save a few lives with Your helping hands, but sometimes, I even cannot claim that. Those times, I needed no medical skills, but faith and the simple hope that Hawkeye or B.J. or even Colonel Potter will come to professionally put a finishing touch on everything.
God, Dear God, all I beseech you is to help me, to show me a clearer path than before this war ended, before I almost was killed by a jeep. Help those who help others, they said. But, I've done my fair share and I want to do more, if only You would let me. I cannot now, only begging on my knees for forgiveness for anything I had done, any sin I had committed unknowingly.
However, I know You have plans for every event in each of our lives, whether it is good or bad, but I don't know what mine is now. All we have to do – what I now must do, I should say, Lord – is to accept what it is and only follow down the pathway you have. Perhaps it is clearly in our faces or we would need some help in little ways, but either way, we would have to live our lives in Your image, as we are your children, the same who makes mistakes through the free will given to us.
A knock was heard on the door of Father Mulcahy's tent, interrupting his prayers for a moment. "Are you there, Father?" Major Margaret Houlihan's voice was heard behind that barrier: softer than usual, welcoming and even inviting in a friendly manner.
Father Mulcahy turned to the door behind him, startled a little, not at all irritated at being bothered while he was praying openly. "Yes, Major, I'm here. Is there anything wrong?"
"Oh, no, Father, no," Margaret replied, not opening the entranceway to the tent still and only speaking quietly, which made the Padre strain to hear. "Don't worry. I just wanted to let you know that dinner is being served at the Mess Tent right now. I know there aren't any announcements or jokes about it over the P.A., like at the 4077th, but I'd thought to let you know before, you know, you miss out on the food."
"Thank you, Major. I appreciate you stopping by to tell me."
"Oh, it's not a problem. Are you all set for tomorrow?"
Father Mulcahy gulped when he figured out what she said, knowing that the next day would being him to his plane in Kimpo, a ride to the United States that he did not need or want. Time was ticking, after all, and it was a matter of hours before he would have to leave everybody in Korea behind. "Yes, Major Houlihan, I am ready for tomorrow. Everything is all set," he said, all he needed to reply.
"Oh, good! I'll see you later then?" The Major's voice held some wistfulness in it, as if she were holding onto the last link of her tenure in a country that was once torn apart by war.
"Yes, Major, I'll see you later." Father Mulcahy hoped his voice was filled with some small reassurance, but at the moment, he didn't feel that way. His heart was tearing apart, pounding even, at the thought of leaving the Korean orphans behind forever.
Silence followed after his statement, footsteps treading carefully away. Margaret had left him, thankfully, and it left the Padre in his thoughts, his memories, of everything he had seen, heard, sensed and even discovered in the three years he had been in Korea. It left him with a different kind of emptiness once more as he turned to his years away from the States, knowing everybody was going home to their loved ones, but that he alone would be taken away from his.
Turning back to the statue, turning meek after his selfish thoughts, he returned to his prayers, although he could not quite finish them.
I'm so sorry, Lord, but I thought you would not mind me talking to Major Houlihan. I only thought, wishing even, that it was another test, another test on my hearing, but it is not. Could it be, though, that there would be none? That, maybe, I could recover from this? Oh, show me, Lord! Show me what to do!
Either way, please help me, even if my self-centered thoughts cannot get me anywhere but to Satan. If not today, tonight in my sleepy dreams, maybe I can know about it when I am in the United States again. Maybe I can help the deaf there? Or, perhaps, there are deaf children that need help? Point me somewhere, God, oh, please!
Thinking of no more to more to say, nagging too much to a heavenly figure that could or could not help him, Father Mulcahy ached as he stood up from kneeling, almost falling over from the effort. Balancing, he went to his cot, sighing. His things were packed, his Bible standing ready at the desk, waiting for him to open it and search its pages for the answer to his quest: an adventure, perhaps, to seek how what he could do with his life now that the war in Korea was over.
Shaking his head from the fatigue from a day spent alone in his tent, the Padre thought of food in the Mess Tent, even sitting and chatting with Margaret Houlihan, but it did not sound appealing at all if he thought about it. Indeed, the strength of his prayers exhausted him, made him tired. But, after all, why go through the trouble of eating at the Mess Tent when you could barely hear the person sitting next to you? Being alone was better, he reasoned.
Father Mulcahy sighed again, long and deep, and laid back on his cot, hands behind his head, thinking. Images then suddenly popped into his head, as if it was given to him, about hearing confessions again or even helping those who were deaf because he had known what it was like to be such, not to hear anybody you loved.
He sat up with the outrageous thoughts, fiction still caught in his mind as the days of old filtered in and out of his eyes. No, it can't be. It can never be again. I must resign myself to it.
Then, a smile planted itself on his face, the first in many hours. After all, who needs a deaf priest? No, that isn't right, but how can I hear confession or the Mass if I can't hear anything?
A sigh then escaped his mouth for the third time, a twisted sense of himself coming out, something he had not seen since before his childhood days, when his own free will took a turn for the worst and he remained on a different lifestyle than he was now. He then shook it away as the present day came back to him, knowing that perhaps God was testing him once more.
A head shake brought him to the now, another prayer on his lips, in his mind. Well, whatever it is, oh, Lord, Your will be done. Whatever it is, let it be done unto me.
Deciding on having dinner with Margaret after all, Father Mulcahy got up from his cot with a new sense of his life's direction – determined as ever to remain himself, to be true to himself instead of following his enemy, Satan – and went outside, grinning as the summer's cool night greeted him.