My friend is dying. He has been a member of my congregation, a colleague, a brother-peacenik in a local peace and justice organization, and a spiritual mentor. Now his end is very close, and his wife says they aren’t up for any visits or phone calls, and they don’t need any dinners, but they really want cards and cookies. I will never have another conversation with him, much less what I want even more, to lay my hands on his head and make the cancer vanish. All I can do is bake cookies. They’re almost done.

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