On the southern shore of Lake Superior, rugged edges of deep green forest merge with cliffs of sandstone and million-year-old granite to mark a remote corner of the Upper Peninsula that economists often call America’s “second Appalachia.” For those who live here, it has become a battleground between an international mining company and a patchwork coalition of residents, fisherfolk, church leaders, environmentalists and an Indian tribe.
It's a little after 4 p.m. when I hear my name paged at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital. It's Lent 1971. I'm working as a student chaplain a few blocks west of Lake Michigan. Each day is a reminder that, even in the corridors of medicine's most prestigious cathedrals, death still reigns.