Preacher’s Kid: Honest Faith, Real World

So, after a year of posting Preacher’s Kid, it’s time to say farewell.

I have so appreciated the opportunity to share my occasionally tortured faith, to relive the sweet and bitter and in between insights and experiences of life and the aftermath of being the son of a preacher man.

I have tried to share my own dysfunctional journey, as it were. I’ve tried to share, and to even understand, all these years later, how my faith both thrived because of, and in spite of my upbringing.

And, in pouring out nearly 100 postings to a modest, but devoted readership, I have been in awe and wonder at the miracle that I didn’t go down the same path as other PKs to completely abandoning faith.

Oh, I have seen much — far too much — of the failures, arrogance, hypocrisy and bigotry of my fellow believers, and how they have made the Body of Christ one that limps through this world, beating itself on the head with one hand . . . even while it gamely tries to give love with the other.

And yet, faith abides. Every time I near the point of throwing up my hands and surrendering to skepticism entirely, I witness a simple act of Christian kindness and sacrifice, one done for the love of Jesus and not the acclaim of anyone else. In other words, I see faith in action, and for a moment of crystalline, pure light and love,  I glimpse the tarnished human spirit truly rise to touch the Holy Spirit within.

The potential, you see, is there, if only for a day, an hour, or the heartbeat it takes to smile or embrace. And somehow, that is enough keep faith alive.

Oh, we can be so much more than we are. We cannot give up hope.

So, one more memory from this preacher’s kid. Picture the funeral of an 11-year-old’s beloved Sunday School teacher. Jack Wahus was his name. I last saw Jack alive, barely, in a hospital bed, dying of bone cancer. The prayers for healing had been said, and the answer had been “not this time.” Jack, an I.V. drip barely knocking the edge off the pain,was  telling the little boy to whom he had become a surrogate grandfather not to worry: it was going to be OK, whatever happened.

Behind the never-far away torture in his gray eyes was a sense of acceptance and peace. “It’s all going to be all right,” he grimaced in an attempt to smile.

A week later, his funeral was held. It was a blur of tears for the boy wondering, for not the first time, about the mystery of why good people suffer . . . and yet remembering that Jack was at peace with it all. What a wonder that was; I wanted whatever Jack had that could make such darkness, light.

Then, there was this song. Even today, 40 years later, it touches a tender place in my heart where that little boy still lives:

God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
Neath His wings protecting hide you;
Daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
With the oil of joy anoint you;
Sacred ministries appoint you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.

. . .  May we all find that peace that Jack had.

God be with you.

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