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We all need guidance, I think fervently, poised on my knees. I’m not used to silent prayer – I haven’t been to church in years – but this sentence, this mantra, bursts into my head with surprising familiarity.

As a confirmed Atheist and a perpetual cynic I never thought I would find myself in a pew again. I lick my lips and the taste of lipstick smoothes over my tongue like crayon. It tastes like Jesus. He catches my eye and I know that I’m supposed to feel something significant, something heavy. He lies, condemned upon a painted cross, weeping in the general direction of a stained glass window that spills color in dramatic waves, like some tropical birds beating its wings in vain against the stark December skyline. The rays fall a few feet away from me in the shape of what might be – but are not necessarily – oleanders.

I won’t eat the wafers or drink the wine, and I won’t cross myself or touch holy water. But I’ll be here, for you, which is enough.

You, the only reason I would ever step foot into a church ever again. You are the reason that I am ignoring that the priest’s gate echoes the sounds of the surgeon’s footsteps. You are the reason that I am not looking at the ceiling fans or the “reserved” sign on the second row of pews.

You, and your mother’s mass, are enough.





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