I can no other say but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks. (Shakespeare)"Thank you" is a very, very small phrase for the feeling of gratitude I have in my hearts for many of you.
Your outpouring of encouragement and of prayer blessed me beyond my ability to describe. I am humbled - and God (and many of you) know just how much work that takes.
There were many, many times in my life over the last year that I really, really, really felt like like I'd been in the car, with God as The Dad, and I'd been left at a roadside rest-stop. Not that I'd been rejected, or "dropped," but that somehow I had gotten out of the car, and the family of faith had left without me. It's a poor analogy - but it's the best I can do with the three remaining soporific brain cells I have left. I really felt like the community of faith had moved on, and I had been left wondering how I failed to get back in with y'all.
No, it's not rational. Yes, it does fly in the face of many folks who have affirmed me over the years. But it's also true, irrational though it may be.
Your messages of affirmation have shown the lie in all that.
So where am I today?
The morning will be devoted to one of the few rituals that have held through all this - the Saturday morning Fireside Men's AA meeting. I make the trek north from Pullman (South 115th St.) to my former seminary neighborhood in Hyde Park, and pick up oe of my sponsees. Then we journey north past downtown to North Avenue (North 22nd St.) and have breakfast at a little cafe' before the meeting. It gets me out of me for at least a couple hours.
Then I am headed to Ohio for a sad occasion. One of the only high-school friends I've kept in touch with, John Zeigler, emailed me yesterday to let me know his mother died. His mom was one of the sweetest women I've known, and she seemed to adore being a grandma. I'd not seen her in quite a while - seems to me I had just moved to Chicago, nearly 3 years ago - but even though they were older than many of our friends' parents, they were always welcoming and gracious. The funeral is Monday, but the visitation is Sunday afternoon. So I'll head out about 2 CT, get there about 6, and come back tomorrow night.
Then it's back into "hell week." (We have two seasons at work - "purgatory week," which is just medium stressful, and "hell week," which includes at least one 14- and one 18-hour work day.)
A bright note - sometime in the last couple months, as I've been off-the-map, one of my fellow bloggers, Jeff Jacobsen of So I Go, has published this remarkable book. I have to admit, his success (he's on Amazon, after all) has gotten my own writing juices going again. I'd strongly recommend Jeff's book - his blog, from which the book is taken, is filled with powerful images and a great understanding of Jesus. Very, very cool.
That's all for now - hopefully there will be a moment or two in Ohio to post...