A question of faith

Faith in Gulps
After services, Father clasps a hand on my shoulder as he grabs my outstretched hand and pumps it vigorously.
“How is everything with you?”
On the verge of tears, I treat the question as an invitation to begin an open-air confessional in the midst of parishioners streaming through the exits.
“I’ve done a lot of praying, I’ll tell you that,” I say as an end.
“Know that God hears all, but you can’t pray for a thing, or an outcome, you must pray that your heart is open for direction.”
“That’s exactly what my prayers have been, Father. My heart is open – Lord knows I need the direction – and they’ve so far gone unanswered. I’m really confused.”
“Ahh, well, God be with you,” and uses the hand on my shoulder to nudge me toward the doors, the other to pat me gently on the back.
Dizzy confusion swells around me, my skin grows clammy and my mouth fills with saliva, like I’m about to be sick.
The outside air is damp and cool and I gulp it in fervently and things come back to relative normalcy.
Still lost, yes, but still breathing.