Tomorrow is a big day, as you know. My dad gets back his test results. We will know if the cancer has spread or not, and if he is facing a long, torturous death.
If the cancer hasn’t spread, it means that those nasty sky-high marker numbers were wrong. Wrong! In my heart I am sure they are wrong. I have faith that they are wrong. I cling to this faith, this beautiful faith.
Faith is such a funny and old-fashioned word, but so powerful. It propels us forward, fills us with courage, and lets us fight on another day. Without faith, I would have nothing, be nothing. Long ago I would have given up on so many things that seemed so impossibly hard, but finally passed.
But death does not pass.
I know I’m not the best religious person, and I know that I’ve said some not-so-nice things about my religion. I admit it: I make fun of the woman who runs the religious education program and who talks to adults like they are naughty children. I complain about the lack of women priests because I happen to believe that women would make incredible priests. In fact, I think that divorced women would make the best priests, but that just reminds me about all my discontent about divorce and my religion.
I like to think that man created my religion’s rules. You didn’t do it. I know that because many of these rules just don’t Sound Like You.
Maybe I have no right to come back to you and ask for this Big Thing. But God, you made such a beautiful day today. Were you watching when this grandfather took his grandkids out to breakfast? They walked along brick city sidewalks, smiling and laughing with each other, a little boy, a littler girl, and a man, each one with so much to offer the other.
This little boy doesn’t have a good role model as a father. This littler girl will never know the unconditional love of a father. But they have this man, who will give him these things.
I’m sorry I said such lousy and wretched things about my religion. Because when the shit hits the fan, as is happening right now, and I am floundering, and man and science and modern medicine look like they are failing me, I am pulled back to the church of my childhood: silent, solemn, and larger than myself.