Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wangerin's pastoring

I just finished Everlasting is the Past by Walter Wangerin and found that I had heard his voice: the voice of a pastor. He pastored me through his struggles, honesty, stories, and no preaching. Just his life.  

Now I am reading his blog called Between Us.This story is in his book and here it is on his blog:   Fishing , My Friend and I . He remembers his friend Arthur Bias ( who I bet got teased for his last name) who was a cop in the 1940's , 50's , and 60's. I heard my son, who is a cop. say almost these same words ( heard on a text) how much he loves rainy days and sleeping in on his day off and watching movies and he said in those words, Walt's words: 

Thanked God for lazy afternoons.

and this: 
Old man, I miss the benediction of your presence, your life constructed of common things. You desired no more than that. Ah but you were more than contented: You were kind.

and this: 
You took the tough job and turned it to kindness. 

and this: 
Therefore, an afternoon at the edge of a sleepy water was no less than Eden prepared by God especially for you. And for me, whom you invited along in easy company.

and these good questions:
I miss the unspoken conviction that people, despite their differences, are worthy of honor and latitude, if not of downright affection. I miss a lawman given to mercy. I miss the perfect assurance that fishing’s enough, that this after-noon’s sunlight is surely enough. And I wonder what caused the change among us. What did you take away? What did your whole generation take away with you when you died?

great words: 
Oh, Arthur, maybe the world has not changed. Maybe you were, in your ordinariness, extraordinary—a cop who caused harmony! A friend who, in fishing, hooked God at the heart. A man of strength and love together. A man of law but not of condemnation. Law does not require condemnation, does it?
But grace requires kindness, doesn’t it?

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