It was December 24th. 2012. In my darkness I went I knew not where, in screaming agony, looking for I knew not what. It had been a hell of a year. I was so ill I could hardly drive my car, but in my agony and determination managed to. I had to. I needed to find something.
Having no idea where to drive to, and afraid of driving too far because of my illness, I drove in a haze around my town. As I drove down one particular road, I suddenly saw a light shining from inside a church. The light seemed to draw me. It was just what I needed – light in my darkness.
I parked my car outside the church. I began walking, in a very wobbly fashion, up the long path to the church. I didn’t even know if I would make it O.K. To the church door. I had had nothing to eat for many days because of my illness, which had not yet been diagnosed – except as stress. My body was covered in bleeding spots, I had lost five stones in weight, I had a retching, deep cough and breathing difficulties, and was exceptionally weak.
I had no idea what I would find inside the church if I made it. Obviously something was going on in there, and I hoped that at least someone would talk to me and offer me a friendly hand. I knew that whatever happened, I could not stay for very long. I was too ill.
I made it to the door of the church and was surprised when I got inside to find a lady handing out hymn sheets as people entered.
“What Service is this?” I inquired.
“Christingle,” she replied.
I had never been to a Christingle Service before, so I had no idea what to expect. I asked the lady if there was a priest, or anybody else whom I could talk to. She told me to sit down in a pew and she would find someone.
I sat down in a pew. Soon, a man came to me. He seemed to be a priest, or a Deacon of some kind. I began to sob as he came to me. He told me that a Service was about to begin, but that if I waited until the Service was over, a priest would come to me.
I did not know what to do. My coat was rubbing on my many bleeding spots, and the itch was unbearable. I thought I was going to collapse, I was so ill and weak. I remained seated right the way through. I needed to leave because I was so ill, but my strength had gone. I kept my mind on the fact that soon I would be able to speak to a priest and cry out my agony. The agony that had been building up since Easter, as I had become iller and iller.
The end of the Service came. I sat. Hopefully. No one came to me. Everyone had left the church. Eventually the man came to me and said,
“I am sorry but you will have to leave. The priest has fourteen Services to take over the Christmas period and cannot see you until after Christmas.”
My heart like lead, I made my wobbly way down the path again and got into my car. My darkness was complete.
Not long after that I was diagnosed with advanced cancer and was told that I may die.