Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A true Star of the County Down's only been a month and three days since my last post! Quite sadly, nothing at all exciting has happened in that time...really. You see, blogging on Scotland and the General Assembly is so much more exciting than blogging from home....unless, of course, you live in Scotland, when hearing about the Jersey Shore and the crazy antics and freak-show behaviour that goes with that becomes rather interesting.

I have been reading James Loder, T.F. Torrance, and Soren Kierkegaard all my typical Attention Deficit Disorder fashion, I don't stick with one book....I jump from one to the other when they refer to each other or when I sit down with a tea and the book is beside me. Clearly, this makes for a stressful time in writing a paper on my reading and pondering....paper due on Wednesday.....and between today (a Wednesday) and the due date, I have Webelo Camp in Bucks County, practice with Nae Breeks....packing Coll for Boy Scout camp in Maryland. (He should be old enough to do this himself......but if left to his own devices he would be in big trouble!)I'm thinking I should panic.....but what would that get me? Probably not a better paper.

Yesterday, I heard the sad news that a colleague of Russell's....who I really barely struggling with an inoperable tumour. Never a thing anyone wants to hear. He always seemed a nice guy. A prof at Glasgow Uni. He had a party one Christmas....must have been 1992 or so. It was fun. We had a meal with him at a conference in San Francisco....must have been 1997 or so....really, for me, he was just an acquaintance, for my husband perhaps a bit of a mentor. He is witty enough, clever and impressive enough. The few times I was with him I thought he was a nice guy. Only when we got the news, and in trying to google him to find a contact, did we come across his blog and see a bit more of what he's like. His blog was created to comment on his Bible reading. I was not aware how involved he was in his church....most Scottish folk being a bit pagan really. Well....he's actually from Northern Ireland...County Down, I think. After his recent diagnosis, the blog became both a commentary on his faith journey...and a commentary on his illness. We see clearly now what an amazing individual this bloke is. He is not only confronting the void, staring death in the face, but finding in his own weakness, the strength to encourage the faith of his readers. Simply. Concisely. Without any pretense of knowing anything but his own experience.
I sat in my sunroom of disarray... sweating... disorganized... unbalanced..par for the Jeanie course, and saw what effect a man in rainy Glasgow.....with hardly any life left in him.....young still, but ravaged with an illness that will be his earthly undoing....encouraging me in my faith. Encouraging me to put God first in my thinking and doing. I had no idea that Alan was so wise.....nor did I really think how much one person's story could reflect God's face so clearly. Yay for Alan....this situation stinks....yet he will not die... really. He died a long time ago with Christ, and his writing proves that he knows that.....beyond the pain he's in, the weakness he feels, the sorrow at leaving his wife and kid and friends.....Alan's in the best of hands. Pray for this Alan guy...this person you will probably never meet, whose research and writings, though pertinent enough, will probably never amount to anything other than effecting the circle of academics with whom he had contact, and the folk in his community that have always loved him. This is a sucky thing that's happening to him... but he is inspired. As I read his blog yesterday, I was so strengthened. We are nothing, yet in God we are everything.
For me.....more coffee....more Kierkegaard.....more Loder....more prayers for Alan. I hope that from his window in Glasgow he sees a rainbow today.

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