As I ponder on this newsletter article for May, it is not lost on me, that it will be my last one to write.
For that reason, I have reached back into my facsimile of an “archive” drawer, and will bring forward words I wrote years ago, after you gifted me with three days in Yachats at a B&B called Sea Quest.
I felt moved to offer it again as an expression of gratitude to the Holy and to you for the years we have ministered together. The ending has been appropriately rewritten for May of 2023.
I arrived in the dark, the rains had come and gone. Stars littered the night sky, a thumb-nail of a new moon shoe clear, feminine power, casting a more subtle hue of gold from which we see things differently
The ocean, feet away from my bedroom, white caps visible to the naked eye, but it was the sound that caught me up short. It was in the hearing that I knew I was home. At first, it was simply the waves, breaking into a roll and washing against the shore over and over and over again.
But underneath the pounding of those waves, as I listened carefully, I heard a deeper sound. I was as if God was humming, telling me without word: “In my house there are many rooms. And in this room my earth and my inhabitants are cared for with love and attention. With this, I am well-pleased.”
Hours later, waking up to a now grey sky, I watched God playing with the clouds as if they were made of playdough. Some were rolled into puffy cotton balls and strung across the underside of the firmament of heaven. Other were stretched thin, rolled, tapered to a sharp point, and left like pencils on a drafting board.
A stretch of blue began to divide the pencils of grey. From nowhere God designed a black evening gown and tightly fitted it to the corners of my room. Like cascading pearls falling from a broken necklace, God sent small pellets of hail to cover the deck, the chairs, the grass. In another moment, the tight black dress was stripped away to lay bare a blue canvas stretched across the sky.
White caps, shining like silver crowns, now sat upon the waves. And the sun, defining what we can see by day, masculine power in brightness and intensity, melted those pearls of hail, dripping their iridescence into the welcoming grass.
Who could do such a thing in a matter of a single moment or two? Tell me, who? Who has such power and sensitivity? Who has the artist’s eye and the carpenter’s touch?
We are living in the period of the “Great Fifty Days”, the fifty days of Easter, days of lengthening light, days of Risen Life.
My brothers and sisters, look around. There are treasures of new life everywhere, just waiting to be found. Open your eyes. Seek the signs of Risen Life for God is everywhere.
In the word of the prophet, Isaiah, “Thus, says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my foot stool; What is the house that you would build for me? And what is my resting place?”….
As my weeks wind down as your Senior Pastor, I am filled with more memories than I can hold – memories of laughter and memories of tears, all robed in the velvet of gratitude. I will step back from any Liturgical and Sacramental work for SCF, and am not permitted to worship with you, minimally, for at least a year. There is good reason for that rule. Both your Interim minister and your new Senior Pastor must feel free to start their ministries on a clean slate. My shadow need not be there. And it will not be there.
However, Roy and I are not moving away.” Free time” will be all over my calendar and I will plan to enjoy walking/ hiking and whatever seems to invite both mind and body.
I will see you and look forward to all kinds of conversation, but nothing at all to do with the common life of Christ at SCF.
In closing, I think Isaiah picked the right words speaking for God; “Thus, says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my foot stool; What is the house that you would build for me? And what is my resting place?”
I will continue to watch from afar what kind of house you will continue to build for God? And what will be God’s resting place?
Peace and blessing,