I was raised in the Catholic faith and received a variety of explanations of God from priests, nuns, and lay people, but the common consensus was that God was unknowable. From what I could gather, He was a powerful, creative deity, and if you caught Him on a good day, He’d perform a miracle. But basically, He was a mystery.
This explanation of God didn’t bother me since I’d never had to defend it, and it didn’t require much of a struggle on my part. Besides, life had been pretty good up to that point, and I had nothing to complain about. But in the late 1980s, while at my first job after college, I remember feeling rather strange one day, and I had what seemed like a small seizure that left part of my body without feeling. Up until then, I’d always enjoyed good health and had never had a physical problem beyond a winter cold.
Startled, I quickly left my work area and calmed myself down in the bathroom. When I told my co-workers about it, they assured me it was stress related and I probably needed more vitamins. But in spite of a regime of vitamins and rest, the symptoms escalated. Absolutely petrified, I talked to some acquaintances who were in medical school and told them about “my friend’s” scary symptoms. They speculated on a variety of grim possibilities, all seemingly incurable or terminal. “My friend” was advised to see a doctor ASAP, but something within me said: “Don’t do it. Don’t tell anyone else; it will only make things worse. There has to be another way out.”