By Dennis McHale
I am not yet dead.
Do not call this a miracle or raise your hands in praise.
First, you should know how long I prayed, and how I came to know the silence of the Lord.
He does not arrive in a ball of light blinding on the road to Damascus. He comes in silence.
Lie there night after night and you will come to know the things I speak of.
My God speaks in the tongue of suffering.
I have survived, but do not call that brave.
I rattled this body from the inside out. There are those who dared get close to me who can testify. I could not find its latch. I would have escaped it if I could.
I say this to you because I know, you too have suffered — a body can be rummaged through like a medicine cabinet.
The flesh can be unfurled. Stitched, unbound, mended and stitched again.
Nothing is lost; nothing can be unmade.
But do not underestimate how hard it is to die and do not think death will save you.The dead have forgotten suffering.
Remember what I tell you here.
Remember how hard I held on. Remember the long nights I prayed.
Remember: whole days and nights I wandered outside myself. My body opened to wind and latched like a door against it.
There was pain in the opening and pain in the parts that healed.
Remember what I said of prayer: to house the soul in a body is a way of it.
Sometimes we suffer for one another. I am sorry for those who have suffered for me. But mostly, I am grateful.
If you like, we can call it holy.