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Today I woke up remembering last night's dream about prayer and presence: I entered a hospital room where an old woman I didn't know was descending into death. Her body what frail and diminished. She was returning to a fetal position in a hospital bed that was to become her final home. Members of her family gathered around their dying matriarch to whisper words of love. I felt awkward and unnecessary within this intimate circle of caring. After standing in silence with them for what seemed like half an hour, I reached out my hand and placed it on the dying woman's brow for prayer. "Lord, in your mercy," I began, "bring your servant into your everlasting peace. Be her comfort now as she enters the arms of your grace..." Before I could continue (in my dream) someone from her family placed a hand upon my head and spoke: "Lord." And as soon as this happened, a chill swept through my body - a feeling of sacred presence - and I awoke knowing this wa…

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