“Years ago when I was a boy I found myself enraptured by what passed in my mind for a profound experience of God. As I grew up I found that I . . .”

Eb, disappointed because he couldn’t see Florence, and uncomfortable almost beyond endurance, wondered irritably if the Lord was flattered to be offered a brief mention in this important discourse – and then felt suddenly deeply ashamed for his critical spirit, and tried to pay better attention.

“So, for myself, I need a better way to make sense of what I experience when I come before the Almighty in my times of prayer.”

Eb felt cautiously optimistic that this could be a sign of hope. He knew better than to rely on apparent tones of winding down, from so many disappointments in the past. The final throes of a sermon could extend beyond fifteen minutes before it would do the decent thing and expire: but the word ‘So’ was always an indication of a turning point.

“I have found my way into a form of prayer that suits me well. A form that satisfies my need for quiet. A form that stills for me the ever-restless questioning of my intellect. A form that I know is rooted in my own tradition that I so deeply treasure. A form that . . .”