Tuesday, March 22, 2011


New Jersey was our temporary home in the early 80’s. I was the crazy Texan teacher who everyone at Glenwood Middle School thought “talked funny” and could never make it in on time when there was snow – how did I get so personally acquainted with so many drifts and ditches? What’s so wrong with “Git out yer book”? Those adorable Yankees did know how to exaggerate! Darrell was the crazy Texan long-haired third shift manager at an IBM facility in Paramus. Since we worked different weekday schedules, weekends were very precious times together. During the week, Darrell would meet up with our pastor, David Hess, to play golf together at the local course. Where we lived in Vernon Valley, the local golf club was The Playboy Club – I felt sure I could trust him with the preacher as his buddy. One of my favorite stories from the golf adventures was their agreement about David’s bad shots. If he didn’t approve of the outcome of the score on a hole, David would ask Darrell to “cuss” for him. So as an act of friendship, Darrell obliged. We did a Google search for David, who we haven’t seen for over 25 years and we not surprised to find that he was pastoring a small Baptist congregation in New York. Many of his sermons are posted to share with interested readers: http://www.theparson.net/

In her opening statements of the sermon at Ken’s funeral, Cindy mentioned panicky fear of possibly passing out or cussing. Cindy, you may have very well done it yourself, but I want you to know that in the past weeks, I have cussed for you. We all have those moments: d@#$, sh*&, d@#$, etc.! We feel robbed by death, Alzheimer’s, cancer, being misjudged, natural disasters, accidents, disabilities, war and literal robbers. We feel paralyzed by fear of uncertain futures. In the midst of this daily life, God still calls us to worship and to serve. How do we do this? I think that even when you don’t feel like it, you push yourself through repetitive acts of daily living, reading the Bible, sending out prayers, resting in the moment when you get the chance to stop and look at the beauty around you. The brilliant shine of the super moon, the tiny green buds poking out on the trees, birds landing on a lake – when you make yourself available, God meets you there. Impossible actions are asked of us, but not to accomplish alone. He connects us together to help each other. How do we know this will work? From our collective experiences and shared stories, from the faith of our fathers, from the rare, occasional glimpses of heaven on earth – we know.

What are you being nudged to do that seems too much? I know what I am being called to do. Encouraging words pull me in the right direction. Today, those words were, “Susan, don’t stop asking me.”

This scripture, which is often read at weddings, has been returning to my heart lately. Sharing with a childhood friend who lost his wife last week and a Grapevine friend whose is seeing his father through his last days:

I Corinthians 13:12-13, For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully as I also have been fully known. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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