Our youth, our joys, and all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust,
Who in the dark and silent grave
When we have wandered all our ways
Shuts up the story of our days,
And from which earth, and grave, and dust
The Lord will raise me up, I trust.
~ Sir Walter Raleigh
 A recent seminary graduate, I am the father of beautiful Abigail and am preparing to serve as the pastor of a new church in
 Along with my wife of 12 years and four children, I am a pastor of a church in
 I am sitting in
 We relocated to the Berkshires in
 Now relocated to
 Still in
 Esther has recently left us and “The presence of [that] absence is everywhere” (St Vincent Millay). We live a fog-life, stumbling, bumbling. People attempt to comfort us. We are disconsolate. We get the boys to school, brush our teeth, walk the dog. Our faith is changed. We are shattered and empty, but somehow, through the mist, perceive a growing wholeness. I remain reverent, hopeful and continue to look for full time work as we now have more than a decade of financial anemia to atone for.
As fall, 2011 begins, I find myself longing to live a more generous life, giving away not just time, hope and encouragement, but material things, too, like money and gifts. I plan to mark the onset of any future autumn by asking, “In the past year, how present was I and how much did I give away, investing in others?” I resolve to be available for my family, grandkids and for all those for whom I may have a responsibility including any strangers that chronos and chance might have decided to deposit at my doorstep.
When I was a kid, my Grandfather Larrett made sure that we never left a visit to his house without a gift, usually a coin, typically a half dollar. Mostly, though, I remember how much I enjoyed being with him and anything he gave me was simply a symbol of that affection. Time, itself, is a symbol of deeper mysteries, each minute a signpost to something Other. Let me suggest that any spending of time be done carefully, thoughtfully. When, alas! The “story of our days” is shuttered, may it be for us that something tangible was left behind, something that let the recipient of our generosity know that we were here, that we cared specifically for them. Bless them, yes, but be mindful to send them away with something to warm their belly, as well. The coin may be spent, perhaps forgotten, but the love will endure, for the heart has no season.
|"Not all who wander are lost." ~Tolkien|