Last night was long and satisfying. The Old Fool awakened too late to arrive at church early, like he had been taught by his father. So he sat further from the front than he usually does. Everything: songs, scriptures and prayers focused on sabbath, rest.
During the children’s hour the first graders received a Bible as a gift from the church. The outer wraping was of gift paper. The children unwrapped it to see a second wrapping of newspaper because the Bible is news. The third inner wrapping was of gold-colored paper because the Bible is precious.
Then the pastor delivered a sermon on the value of the Sabbath as a gift. Not to be kept as law from above, but treasured as a gift to us in our hectic lives. For, as a friend later observed to the Old Fool, our psyches need rhythm with regular rest and spiritual reflection.
During coffee time The Old Fool conversed with a man who had been one of the CPS men who started the Mennonite Church in Puerto Rico, just as Rachel reported. He regards Puerto Rico as his second home.
Then The Old Fool reconnected with Borderlands. It was a time for a “one on one.” Each one present had one minute to share an interest or concern. The Old Fool confessed that he has a little boy within him that wants to believe, and has an old man in him who tends to be sceptical.
Then The Old Fool hurried home for Sunday dinner with the family. It was a one dish meal. Rachel left for a three day supervisory three day visit to Mennonite offices in Kansas. So Eldon,, Khalid and I are here alone again.
This afternoon family and friends gathered at CMC for the final memorial service for Miriam Beachey. Miriam was a deacon’s daughter. She attended so many funerals with her family that she began at an early age to plan her own funeral. The planning process continued through the years, intensifying as the time approached. The memorial bulletin had a poem about a gate, and a picture of the entrance to the calandar garden.
The Old Fool stayed for the sharing time over cookies and fruit. The memories were many: from family, friends, and fellow missionaries in India. A litttle woman came to The Old Fool and asked, are you the Martin Lehman who lived in Sarasoata? She identified herself as Katie Beachy. Her husband Eli Beachy had served the Homestead Mennonite Church as Pastor. Yes, the
Old Fool remembered. It was good to embrace Eli Beachey again. He was John Beachy’s younger brother, thus Miriam’s brother in law.
Tonight the Old Fool is alone with his thoughts. He has listened and pondered again to Melinda Berry’s lecture on “Liberation Theology – from the Ground up” to New Perspectives on Faith.