Last night I had a weird dream.
I entered a church just as the service was starting. I slipped in at the back, wanting to be unnoticed. The gent at the front started talking about me – who I was, what I did, how important I was. Some was true, some wasn’t. I was confused and intensely embarrassed.
He asked me a question. All I could say was: ‘I’m just here as me.’
My brother Chris continues his cancer treatment. Last week he wrote:
‘Since summer, I’ve been struggling to walk. This is a direct consequence of my cancer. Lately I couldn’t go up the stairs without a cane… My oncologist prescribed radiotherapy in the pelvic region – as well as chemotherapy. Today, for the first time in a long time I was able to climb the stairs “normally”… God is so good and living the “cancer path” with Him is an exceptional experience.’
Physically and spiritually… He’s just here as Chris.
Yesterday at church Vicky was baptised. She told her story – her difficult childhood, drink and drugs, losing her family and home, sitting in a police cell… loneliness, fear, anxiety, guilt, regrets, pain… recovery, faith, struggles, hospital, desperation, restored relationships, clearer thinking:
‘Having faith has never made it easy for me, having faith has always made it possible.’
Honesty and openness… She’s just here as Vicky.
Early one morning last week I walked by the sea. It was bitterly cold, windy raining…
Joggers were having their morning run; I wished I could still run like them. Cyclists were going to work; I was pleased that I didn’t have to. Dog-walkers were out; I remembered walking with our dogs…
On the shoreline were fishermen in their little tents; I wondered how long they would sit there. Several people were swimming in the sea; I considered definitions of insanity.
I’m not a fit jogger, working cyclist, habitual dog-walker, patient fisherman or insane swimmer. I’m just here as Malcolm.