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.
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.
You took the tough job and turned it to kindness.
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?
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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