Home and in the Trenches

IMG_4024Rachel met me at the South Bend Airport and drove me home. Since I had stayed in my aisle seat all during flight and had missed both breakfast and lunch except for a meager $5:00 snack in flight, I urged her to find the nearest McDonalds. I knew they had clean rest rooms, and  I needed rest and food.

I slowly faced reality as Rachel seemed to choose Indiana’s narrow back roads and we talked non-stop to catch up on the past eight days.  Gone were the broad roads and the beutiful brown mountains that jutted up out of the desert plains of Arizona.

Chaplain Pat used her master key to open the door to my castle and I was soon inside my cleaned and properly ordered home by attendants, greeted by Rhoda’s picture, my owls, pet plants and memory stones. I am trying to restore the castle’s comfortable disorder. Soon I was with Joyce – my Joy, my confidante, and  my special friend.

The computer wakened to my touch and I was soon wading through the emails that had accumulated during the past eight days.  One persistant email from someone on behalf of the College Mennonite church board caught my attention. It asked me to attend an intercultural training event for lay leaders of the church.


Gilberto Perez, Jr.

Gilberto Pérez, Jr., senior director of intercultural development and educational parrtnership for the Goshen College Center for Intercultural and International Education, was the leader.  He brought Dr. A Brian Leander with him as a resource person. Dr. Leander is a coach for Diversity Oriented Churches.  He is an imposing personality and presence. Our four hour session was an intense study of two Bible passages. One was ll Corinthians 5:15-22:


Dr. A Brian Leander

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God,who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

The second passage of scripture was Ephesians 2:11-18 part of which reads:

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,  and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

We were asked to tell the group what jumped at us from these scriptures? So now I askyou the same question.  Ponder my haiku:

Broken is the wall.
Praise God all twos are now one
Go Hostility!


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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