Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

These Times

Hope is a secular prayer

A woman in our neighborhood many years ago was getting treatment for lung cancer. I saw her walking along the sidewalk in front of the house one day – she was getting chemotherapy or radiation, I can’t remember which – and she looked weary. We talked for five minutes in front of the driveway.

She was a wonderful woman, full of that rare combination of optimism and contrarianism that’s hard to maintain over a life. At the end of our chat, she had a question.

“Could you say a prayer for me?”


I told her that was my wife’s department, but I did say I’d be thinking of her often. She smiled and...


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