Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Growing up, I saw that stained glass window above on many a Sunday. I still remember it fondly, the last time I saw it was upon an Easter Sunday some few years ago. After I had retired from the Air Force, but before The Missus Herself and I had had a "come to Jesus" meeting. The end result of that meeting being Your Humble Scribe returning to the fold as it were.

For the love of my life had a need, an itch which needed scratching, a burr under her saddle. She had been away from her native land (not counting a month long visit in 1995, nor a week long visit in 1998 to bury her Dad) for  some 18 years. On top of that, as we were preparing to leave Germany and come back to the United States, retiring from the only life we'd ever known together, her mother passed away.

Both deaths were unexpected. My father-in-law lived long enough for The Missus Herself and the progeny to get to Korea, lived long enough for his daughter, my wife, to be with him as he crossed the boundary between this existence and the next. Having experienced that myself some years later, I understand the trauma and the pain involved in that. They stayed in Korea long enough to see her Dad buried, then they came home to Germany where I had had to stay to make preparations for The Naviguesser to get back to the U.S. to start college.

But when her Mom died, there was no closure, her Mom passed very quickly of a cerebral aneurysm. There one moment, almost literally gone the next. She had a phone call from her sister (I think, might have been one of her brothers) to inform her. I asked if she wanted to go to Korea for the funeral, the Air Force would have paid for the flight, both ways, but she decided that she needed to stay in Germany. We were packing to leave, Lord knows what a hash I might have made of that, and she realized that there was nothing she could do.

So one day, she was out driving around our new stomping grounds here in Little Rhody and she found this stone church on the town common (we still have those in some New England towns) and she decided to stop. She sat on the front steps of that church for quite awhile, later she told me that "it just felt right, felt like home."

When I got home from work that afternoon, she informed me that we would be going to church that Sunday. I spluttered and protested but, as always, she won the contest. We've been attending services there now going on 18 years. We became members back in '03. Surprised me that I so readily acceded to that, but when I think about things, which happens now and again, she has usually (always?) been right. I tend to be a contrarian at times, just because I can. She knows that.

All that being said, it's been a long trip from when I was a young lad, being asked if I would like to join the church. I was puzzled, what did they mean by "join." Well, there were classes one must take, certain dogmas one should espouse, and...

"Nope, sorry. That's not for me."

Parents were a bit miffed, I was a teenager, so it was a no go. Church was in my wake, it would be many years before I returned. I attended divine services perhaps thrice in the Air Force. Once in Basic Training (had no choice for that first Sunday in Basic). Once while in tech school, a couple of us volunteered to go hear a general speak. It was that or mop and wax floors that Sunday. Turns out the general was speaking at a church. Unexpected but it turned out pretty well. It was interesting and there were no mops or buffers to be seen.

The second time was in Belgium, it was cold, there was this interesting little Belgian church, it was Christmas and there were little kids singing inside. We went in and sat quietly, it was one of the most intense Christmas experiences I've ever had.

So three times in the space of nearly thirty years. I half expected the ceiling to cave in when I returned (kicking and screaming in a figurative sense), but the wife was insistent and I had no choice really. She needed it, so I went. It was good for her, probably good for me as well.

But I grow restless again.

I feel the dogma  creeping in, the idea that the Bible is all there is, nothing new in 2,000 years. Really? God speaks but does anyone listen in these times?

It doesn't feel like it.

Formulaic preaching, no matter how passionate, leaves me cold.

But I remember that stained glass window and how much that image conveys to me. How much it means to me, all that has gone before and all that is yet to be. I hunger.

I must needs be patient.

All will be revealed.

In time.

It's been a long journey, but it isn't over yet.


  1. My favorite is "the church in the woods", but the last mass there, I attended was July 64, just prior to enlisting to beat the draft.

  2. If Paul prayed for the Colossians (Col 1:9) and the Ephesians (Eph 1:17) to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding it must be true that we can all be filled with that knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of spiritual things. It's my prayer for myself, anyway.

  3. Funny how during Life's Journey that route one takes goes hither and yon, sometimes backtracking even. Since my parents died the pull of the Church has gotten much stronger. Eventually what you seek will find you Sarge (not trying to be condescending or preachy).

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence Nylon12. I believe that's the way things work. One just needs to be paying attention and be receptive.

  4. While you were in the AF keeping America safe, I was 4F on account of youthful accidents that didn't heal right. I spent a lot of time in Bible study, and church service. One thing I can tell you is TV dinners may keep you from starving, but they aren't satisfying for long term use. Learn to feed yourself. I am ashamed to say that I have neglected to do this year what I propose to you: Read thru the Bible. As you read it, ask the Author to point out what is important, and what you should do about it. Start in the Gospel of John..... "These things are written so that you may know......"

    1. I have read John's gospel more than once. His words resonate with me somehow.

  5. I've always attended church, but only becoming faithful in college. I've grown more in my Faith all the time, at the same time my daughter has abandoned it, espousing all the liberal talking points. I hope to get her back someday, both into her faith and the fold.

    1. College isn't going to help there. Eventually though, if you're lucky, she will truly learn to think for herself, and not espouse all that liberal claptrap. It happens.

  6. I well remember that first Sunday at Lackland where attendance at Chapel was required (or if not, STRONGLY advised) and we were temporarily away from the tender embraces of the TI. The chaplain opened up the assembled to any questions that he might answer about basic training.
    One of we "rainbows" brought up one of the various rumors that surrounded the process, to which the dear chaplain summarily declared "That's bull****." My jaw must have almost hit the floor. Don't remember the question, only that it wasn't in reference to the "square needle in the left nut" gambit.

  7. Faith is one of those funny things, isn't it? I used to be an alter boy, even at one time thought of becoming a monk. Got married in the church, probably the best Mass I was ever in.

    Haven't been to a physical church in years (it doesn't help that the Church went all lib-tard on me, even before electing a Commie-Pope. The Polish one and the German ones were good, but a SA Commie-Pope? Yikes!) Issues with health and such have kept me from attending. Yet I find myself more close to God today than when I was 20. Much more Catholic than, well, what the Pope seems to be. Maybe even a darker and more medieval Catholicism than what is acceptable today.

    I do miss a good mass. But my church surrounds me, and is full when Mrs. Andrew is next to me.

  8. Thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quandt

  9. "...the idea that the Bible is all there is, nothing new in 2,000 years. Really? God speaks but does anyone listen in these times?"
    Sarge, I suggest that that sentence means that you are listening, and hearing.
    Do not expect to find all the answers you want. You already know that isn't going to happen, at least not in this life. I pray you will find enough answers--or ways to think--to bring you comfort. He deals in that stuff, you know.
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. He does indeed, which gives me great comfort.

      Thanks Tennessee.

  10. Touching the Almighty. You might do it once in your life. I remember once.

  11. Man is incomplete without faith. The Universe runs too smoothly for everything to be randomness. I am a Lutheran Badger, who doesn't go the church anymore, as the Lutheran Church left me, when it turned hard Left. But I still believe in the core beliefs that I was taught in Sunday School, and Conformation Class. I have no doubts about the existence of God, nor the role of his Son. The Trinity has brought me comfort, in times of loss, and shown me many things of beauty in the world, that needed to be brought to my attention.

    1. Thank you, Mrs. Dellamuth, for your patience, in being my Conformaion teacher. That needed to be said.

    2. I'll add my thanks to Mrs. Dellamuth.


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