Tuesday, October 14, 2008


When you find out who you are, beautiful beyond your dreams ...
From 1981-1986, Leslie and I were immersed in service to Cambodian refugees. Around 6,000 Khmer had been resettled in Old East Dallas and there were almost no resources for them – no health care, no assistance with education, no food help, not much of anything. Leslie and I were in the community 7 days/week, sun-up to sun-down and beyond. Those truly were the best of times and the worst of times – which I’ve written about elsewhere.

Sometime in those times I attended a meeting where one of the people present, Dan Foster, a distinguished physician at UT Southwestern Medical School, made a strong impression on me. Among other things, he talked about being called to a commitment to being in and working to build community. Photo: "Sophea go to study" - Hey Sophea - see you in December

Around 10 years later, when Leslie and I were looking for a church, we ended up at First Presbyterian where someone who knew me said we should go to the Open Ring Class, because we’d like the teacher, Dan Foster. So we went to Open Ring and our first time there, Dan said something like, “I’m not going to talk about trivial things.” And I thought, we’ll see how that goes – and now, almost 20 years later, still, no trivial matters in this class (too bad I can't say the same for myself). Sunday after Sunday, Dan teaches from deep wisdom to deep wisdom, often touching places “too deep for words.” (Did you ever notice that the deepest wisdom is often that which we already know, but somehow it slipped from awareness …).

We were looking for a church because we, especially I, had been let down by the church we started attending shortly after David was born. First, there were several times during church that it seemed like I could hear gunshots, automatic weapons, bullets hitting men, the usual sounds of battle. I told the minister about this and he was nonplussed, like with no idea of where to go from there. I told him it was a part of healing, but still, it was as if he was struck dumb - he really could not understand or relate at all.

Second, my father died and it was like I was not there. No response from either minister. So we moved on to First Presbyterian where there was support and response when my mother died. Glad to be home.

Today at Central Market I ran into someone I worked with in the past. She said, in a joking way (but it wasn’t really joking), “You look pretty grungy – oh, I forgot, you’re retired.” I guess she wasn’t speaking in Seattle terms of grunge and I thought, yeah, here we are, scrutinized by the Appearance Police, a branch of the Thought Police and once again, feeling gratitude for being a

L O N G...G O N E...D A D D Y

1 comment:

David McQuaid said...

I like your lyrics from "Ripple" up in the Intro section! Nice blog too!