I have a dear friend who is beginning his battle with cancer. Much has changed. His weight has dropped, how he eats has been altered, his energy wanes, and his daily routine takes him to a different office building. That bit of language, “cancer patient,” a descriptor of so many others, even of his wife, is now his.

Yet much hasn’t changed. His faith, his confidence in The Maker’s plan. The regular coming close of friends and family. His thoughtful, considered approach to living life.

And a love of books, of story. This hasn’t changed.

We were recently together for an evening and, as is our habit, the conversation turned to “what are you reading?” The question, and the places it has lead us so many times before, took on new meaning. We didn’t talk about it, but we felt it. Books and our love of what they hold is no longer simply procured common ground. This conversation is now a place where the enemy cannot follow and won’t be named. It doesn’t get our attention here. He and I carved out this fortress long ago. This is ours, and we’re not giving it up. These few minutes are our refuge, our refuge of story.

So, P, what are you reading?