Folk tales and myths and dreams are replete with stories of crossroads that reflect the sojourner’s panic or confusion. Enveloping him is an invisible presence, paradoxically menacing and attractive. There’s no going back. Ahead, the once predictable path is tangled with briars and the unknown; another mysteriously veers off from it. Footsteps falter. Queasiness cramps bowel functioning. Clamminess sours the lining of his being, provoking questions of identity. The comfort of the God of his understanding seems to have abandoned him.

At best, a sacred time of untangling emotional tangles, of ripping off blinders constricting vision, of freeing pent-up paradigms opening to the unknown. At best, purification like none other, with furtive glimpses toward that other path.

Such an impasse has swallowed a life-long friend, stuck at a similar crossroads, in my perception. Ravaged by years of heart and lung ailments, again admitted to ICU, on continuous oxygen, he awaits the effectiveness of IV drugs coursing through his veins. No matter that numerous brushes with death have diminished him. He wants to return home, its colors and comforts supporting his declining years. His devoted wife and son attend to his needs.

With them, we pray and watch and wait … and invite you to join us.