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Preaching Through Spiritual Drought

MOST DAYS AROUND 11:45 a.m., I turn on my screen saver, grab my gym bag, and walk two blocks to SportsMed, a gym owned and operated by a local medical practice. Sue or Brenda greets me by name and hands me a locker key and a couple of towels. A few old men, their workout finished, sit at tables and argue over coffee about why Chicago winters aren't as tough as they used to be.

I change, then join the dozens already working out.

The faint strains of techno-pop come from the aerobics room, full of bouncing dancers, mostly women. The free weights are mostly unoccupied, while over at the Cybex machines, a guy who looks like the Skipper from Gilligan's Island is getting pumped up. The Schwarzenegger types don't seem to like the atmosphere here; they work out at some gym over on North Avenue called "Heavy Metal." For the most part, we in this congregation are ordinary people with lumps and limps and laproscopic scars.

Some of the people sweating around me are staff from the clinic next door: orthopedic ...

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