This path I have been forced upon feels very dark and scary at times. I suppose that is why I resort to humour to lighten things up. Or at least attempt to. Because if I am laughing, at least I am not crying. Or screaming in terror. I know God is with me. I know he walks alongside me. But I would still rather he walked alongside me in the balmy seas of the Caribbean or as I potter about planning my new kitchen instead of hiking up to Breast Units for me to flash my hooters at yet more people. Not that I want him to absent himself on Wednesday. I very much want him there with me. I would just rather the whole thing was unnecessary. People often talk about their ‘cancer journey’ and the thing about clichés is that they have their roots in real meaning. I am inevitably going to be changed by this experience. Where I end up is going to be different from where I began. I must confess to being tired of ‘life changing experiences’. I have had more than a few. I do wonder what all the lives I have been changed from would have been like sometimes. Perhaps someone else is off living them? Rude.
Today at my Mum’s church, there was much talk of their Arch Bish – top all round bloke, John Sentamu. Used to be Bish of Birmingham and we love him. Between Advent 2015 and Trinity 2016 he is walking all over his diocese as a pilgrimage of prayer, witness and blessing. For this, he composed the following prayer:
A Prayer for Setting Out on Pilgrimage
God of Our Pilgrimage, Thank You for Your Friendship.
Be the Fire Leading Us.
Be the Star Guiding Us.
Be the Good Shepherd Calling Us.
May the Spirit, Strengthen Us
For All that Lies Ahead.
May Your Holy Angels, Surrounding Us:
Watch, Defend and Protect Us Against All Evil.
Feels appropriate, no? And I rather like it.