These days I am finding myself more content to sit with the questions, instead of offering a logical solution based on a presupposition that is more comfortable to swallow.
These days I am more likely to cry tears of gratitude than sorrow, streams of wonder and grace flooding the banks of certain fatality. I am unworthy, yet I am welcome. I am loved, yet I've not accepted it.
These days my ears are selective in capturing the whispers of a groaning earth, restless for the redemption of a new creation. Still standing, standing, standing on the promises of God.
These days I would rather hear an off-key organ chiming sacred melodies of yesteryear. I can still hear the 'y'all come choir' as they shout about the some glad morning. Will the circle be unbroken?
These days I miss friends who have gone before me, leaving a legacy of hope and longing: Gina Carlin, Chris Ort, Bill Centapani, Gene Ward, Mandy Daunt, Bill Corley, Ray Ericson, Ruth Gustafson, Mary Wagenmaker, and Joshua DePoy.
These days I am more certain of less, but a few things remain: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
When I was a little boy I had an undiagnosed obsessive compulsion to go back the way I came. Quite literally, I had to return through the same doorway I entered. If I used the automatic electric doors at the entrance of Meijers, I absolutely must exit through the same route. If I took the back roads to a destination, then I had to take the same back roads home.
- and now I've come full circle, entering the exit with a childlike wonder. I miss the Bible Baptist Temple, and the King James Bible worn thin. I miss my father's instruction, and my mother's immanence. I miss sitting in the back row and wondering if God could ever use me to stir the waters of revival. I miss the youthful naivety of ignorant bliss. I miss thinking anything was possible. I miss the chorus: "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty - there's nothing my God can not do!" I miss the four squared colored carpet in the basement, and the nostalgic sacredness of Sunday School. I miss the altar calls and the salty tears. I miss Jack Hyles and Johnny Hunt and Rob Bell and Art Shady.
These days I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving for a journey of scars and stories and three daughters of my own, to shape their faith in the light of the everlasting awe...