Last week I went to a party with some friends. We got to talking about the old times. Some of the times that we talked about were the most painful that I have had. In all of my life. But, now that I’ve walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I can see their value in my life. In my spiritual formation. I who I am today.
My mother is a member of a website that is like myspace for the 50+ crowd. One of her friends attends my former church. He was excited and showed her a video that they did to preview a sermon series. I have to be honest. I got homesick. Seriously homesick. Yes, I worked myself nearly to death at times. But I was also pushed, challenged to be more creative than I ever thought I could be.
Tonight I was wandering around myspace, and I found my old pastor. He’s a msypacer now. I read his blog. Good stuff. I left him a comment. Not sure that anything will come of it. Not sure if he’ll write to Tom the myspace dude and try to get my profile removed. Or if he’ll ignore my comment.
If I had the chance, I would love to sit down and talk to him. I’d love to tell him how sorry I am. How I should have never lost my identity. My Deneen-ness. But more than all of that, I’d thank him, from the bottom of my heart. I cannot open any of my books that I am reading for seminary without owing him a debt of gratitude. He’s the one who introduced me to the systematic study of God. Dare I say that he is the one who piqued my interest in Church History. He is the first pastor with whom I was ever able to have an intellectual discussion about God, not just a feeling-based conversation.
Who knows. God is big enough to cross our paths again. God knows South Jersey is so small its a miracle our paths have not yet crossed.