Current mood: crazy
Current music: Ben Harper – Widow of a Living Man
Uninvited input brings to life a friendship to be remembered
By: SPECIAL TO CITIZEN-TIMES
Posted: Dec. 12, 2003 5:31 p.m.
I rise early on Sunday mornings in order to prepare myself to meet an active, demanding day. I shower, quietly dress and head my car down the driveway, turning it toward McDonald’s. I usually get there early enough to get a place at a table far away from the breakfast crowd and the sounds of conversation.
I prefer to be somewhat inconspicuous, anonymous. I simply search for a cup of strong black coffee and a private time to prayerfully center my spirit. It’s in these moments I glance over my sermon and pay attention to my internal critics.
This time alone is an invaluable part of my peculiar routine and I go out of my way not to disrupt it. However, this routine was altered some years ago when a winsome, senior-age man caught my attention.
His name was Len and he had seen me and asked if I were a minister and was I “working on my sermon.” I was reluctant to answer, wanting to be left alone. He invited me to sit down and share my sermon with him. He seemed to genuinely care about the ideas inherent in my sermons and playfully questioned me about them. He had a kind of Socratic sense about him and I learned to enjoy these breakfast meetings. He loved to talk about the political and social implications of my sermons and our conversations ran the gamut. This man was not your traditional church-goer; yet, he was deeply interested in spiritual/ethical matters. Sam Walter Foss may have been imaging a man like Len when he penned these famous words,
“Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.”