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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Keeping Abreast

This morning Spencer begins the second leg of the Susan Komen 3-Day Walk: 60 miles in three days, following a route like an uncoiling tapeworm from Stone Mountain to Turner Field.  I imagine everybody in the US is close to someone who has had breast cancer.  In Spencer's case, it's her beloved Aunt Donna, a breast cancer survivor lo these many years.  That I'm proud of Spencer goes without saying; I'm also proud she raised over three thousand dollars for research.
She came in yesterday after the first part of her journey.  There's an old saying that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow.   I won't say you could have read a book by Spencer in a darkened room, but she was definitely glowing.  She took a shower to wash the glow off, and then took a covered dish to her boyfriend Glen, who's also doing the walk.
The walkers have fine weather for it, and from Spencer's report, there's an easy camaraderie among them.  Some of the teams have comical names, word play with boobs and knockers.  Spencer told us some of these last night, but for the life of me, typing this at 5:35 in the AM, I can't recall them.  Imagine that I've shared some amusing team names for you featuring mild double entendres.  Now imagine you're chuckling at them.
There also seems to be plenty of good food along the route: cookies, candy, Starbucks coffee.  There's a lot of support and love out there for these walkers.
Years from now, when breast cancer is a thing of the past, people may look back on events such as the Susan Komen Walk and wonder.  "What the heck," they will ask each other, "raising money for research, sure, that was necessary, but why the three-day walk?  Couldn't they just have donated money and everybody just stayed home and watched TV the way nature intended?"
If I had to explain it, I'd say the walk represents a sort of prayer; you see, kneeling with your hands folded under your chin and mumbling to yourself is only one form of prayer, and perhaps not the most meaningful form at that.  Prayer also takes the form of actions.  At least once in their lifetime, Muslims undertake Hajj, a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca.  Untold numbers of Christians make the pilgrimage to Lourdes.  For Buddhists, it's Bodh Gaya, where Siddhartha received enlightenment.  These journeys aren't just about getting from Point A to Point B, they're acts of devotion.  They're offerings of love.  Prayers.
Does God answer prayer?  Over a three-day period, thousands of men and women will walk sixty miles together across Atlanta, cheered, greeted, and fed by thousands more.  How can so much love go unanswered?

PS - If you'd like to donate,  visit http://ww5.komen.org/donate/donate.html

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