O.k. I'll back up a bit.
I have been a religious person of various degrees throughout most of my adult life. When I was a teenager I became a 'born again' Christian and converted from my Lutheran roots to the local Mennonite church. I was pretty into it then. I handed out pamphlets, lead the church choir and toured with my own Christian band where I preached and made altar calls. Until I was in my mid-twenties I was very strict about my faith. But then life became a bit more complicated and I abandoned my fundamental view and replaced it with a more liberal 'I think God exists in some form' approach. A vague personal religion without all the exclusivity of Christianity that I believed in so strongly years earlier.
I haven't attended any church for about ten years. I also haven't really spoken a prayer that (I'll be honest here) felt as if anyone was really listening for more than 20 years now. Until yesterday.
I was going for a run. I still run but I am feeling the effects of the chemo a bit so I go slower and walk a bit more once I feel exhausted. I ran for about 3 miles and then decided to walk the last mile home. I took off my headphones and thought that this might be a good time to say a prayer. So I talked out loud while facing toward heaven. 'Dear God' I said. 'I come before you and I ask of you...' then I paused. 'Ask of you?' -what kind of language is that? 'I'm sorry' I continued out loud 'Do you mind if I speak to you in normal English?. You know that I respect you but I these old standards don't really work for me anymore.' And so I just continued to talk about whatever came to my mind while facing forward now. Like talking to a friend walking next to me. Mostly I said that I was grateful about all this great stuff that is happening to me since my diagnosis. But, of course, I also made a few requests. 'I don't know if you gave me this cancer for whatever reason, or if you have some hand in it, or if you're just watching nature unfold but I really need your help.' Overall this conversation went for about 20 minutes until I was home. I said my goodbye and ended with 'Let's talk some more tomorrow. Thanks, though, that was fun.'
When I got home I knew in my heart that someone was listening.
To all the bikers and joggers out there that passed a slightly overweight tall guy with a German team soccer jersey who was talking out loud as he was walking down Wellington Crescent-That was me.