He was a professor of religion, but he had no faith in God. What he did have was cancer and no hope. I got word through a friend that he’d like to talk to me. So I went to his home. We agreed to discuss God. No holds barred. To wrestle honestly together in conversation for two hours a week. Thursday, 3 o’clock to 5 o’clock. Over the better part of a year I visited and we spoke of fear, pain, emptiness, God, Christ, truth, sin, incarnation, resurrection and more. He told me the part that appealed to him most was the Christmas story… How God came. How he was the answer to our misery. How he suffered with us. “Skin in the game,” He called it. Toward the end of his life I gave him a cross to wear about his neck. “When the pain comes, hold it tightly and remember Jesus who suffered with you and for you. Ask Him to share His resurrection with you.” He died in the night. The nurse said he was clinging to the cross. She gave it to me. I noticed it was bent from his tight, strong grip on it. In my memory he is always remembered as the saint with the bent cross. Yes, he held on tightly to what of Jesus he knew, but Jesus held on to him even tighter.Through cancer, Through pain, Through death,and now in Heaven.