On Sunday, I called My Joy to tell her I would be late for church and might not walk to the front to sit by her. So, instead I sat by an aging mentor of mine. He had his ear-phoned head bowed as he made notes on his bulletin. After the service I asked him why he was writing. He explained that a medication made him drowsy and writing helped him hold on to the main points of the Sermon. Sermons deserve such attention.
I had set my alarm for the leap ahead, but was delayed by interest in the national public radio station. I listened to Krista Tippett’s interview with Sherwin Nuland on The Biology of the Spirit. Nuland’s first book was titled “How we Die.” In the interview he said that he and creationists have the word “wonder” in common. Believers wonder at the God of creation; and Nuland wondered at the creative power of nature.
I was also delayed and made hopeful by listening to an interview of the founder of the Vietnam Veterans Restoration Project. Some of its veterans help themselves recover from the agony of remorse by returning to Vietnam to help it recover from the war. That’s a Jesus-like behavior.
A third interview was with Cristal Pressly She was but a child when her father came home from the Vietnam war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She and her mother lived in fear of the terror and rage that he feared. As an adult, Cristal and her father have reconnected and written a book titled “Thirty Days with my Father“. Writing the book helped heal them from PTSD. Such stories increase my hope.
These interviews prepared me for the church services. In the worship service I wondered at God. During the Christian education hour I wondered at nature. I was content, informed and stimulated in both settings.
On Sunday noon My Joy and I were guests at the Olive Garden in Elkhart. Our host is a quiet thinker interested in church history. Because he recognized its historical value, our host gave me a copy of Promises Made, an editorial written by Paul Schrag for the Mennonite World Review.
Yesterday I went online and read the editorial and the long list of comments that followed. If you are a Mennonite I encourage you especially to click on this link: Mennonite World Review. After reading the comments I concluded that they confirmed the wisdom of the editorial. It is time for a turn in the dialogue. The dialogue should not be about the need to discipline, but about the virtue and value of remaining one for Jesus sake. It is not too late!