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In the city, it is easy to think about man. In the desert, mountains and on a night at the beach, it is easy to think about God. Last night during my prayers, I wanted to search for God, so the image I brought forth in my mind was me, at seventeen, in Cyprus, walking the beach at night.

I can remember looking at the black sky filled with distant lights and thinking, “What did our ancestors think when they looked up from where they were sleeping and saw this vast and endless sky?” “Those lights hold the answers,” I told myself into my pillow. And that is why while I pray, I imagine that beach, that half moon, those stars that will always be countless.

“Some people think schizophrenia is the same as demon possession,” I say as I imagine my toes, bare, sinking into the wet sand. I know that can’t be true because if it were, it would mean doctors had learned how to silence demons.

I wonder as I imagine the light of the moon reflecting on the water, “Can you disregard the Ten Commandments, seemingly lining up to break every one, and still come back to the title of daughter or son?” The stars blink, winking at me from this Greek Island where I imagine myself walking while I lie in bed.

My cousin has cancer. Several of my friends have cancer. I have lost people to old age, tragedy, and hard living. “I’m not unique in my suffering; it is so important to remind myself,” I almost say out loud. If I die at fifty-three, I will have lived more years than many, and far less than others. It is not a curse I carry but the story of the reality of life.

A cloud covers the moon. The beach becomes darker than before. I say to myself, “So many people criticize Christianity, so many people say it is all fairy tales, and call those of us who believe ignorant, hypocrites, and fools,”  but I can’t go on each day without knowing I can call to you,  question you, run to you from the world that is harsh, violent and sometimes painfully beautiful.

The lights in the sky are shining, and I don’t hear you, but I see you all around. Each star, millions of them leading me to the answers I seek on a beach and ocean far away while the covers on my bed surround me and call me to sleep.