I have said countless times that losing our illusions is difficult because illusions are the stuff we live by. We believe we’re invincible until cancer comes knocking, or we believe we’re making a comeback until we tumble down the stairs. God strips away those falsehoods because it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy. The last few years have been a “stripping away” like I’ve never experienced. About all I’m left with now is rags, somewhat fitting I guess for a man who has preached such a gospel. If I ever was a ragamuffin, I am now. For ragamuffins, God’s name is Mercy; or in the present vernacular of my life–Help.
Nowadays if I want to put on my jeans and shirt, someone has to help me. If I want to eat a slice of pepperoni pizza from Pete & Elda’s or an ice-cream cone, someone has to help me. If I have to go to the bathroom, I need help. To turn up the volume on the Yankees game, I need help. To access my medicine or open my Diet Coke, I must have help. To get into bed at night, help. To rise in the morning, help. To nap in the afternoon, help. To write this book, help. Carlo Carretto wrote, “We are what we pray.” These are days of prayer without ceasing–“Help me! Have mercy on me!” And my Father, who is so very fond of me, does.