Dave Smith

In stepping away for just a short time I discovered absence from the keyboard created a bit of a nag.  “You should, you shouldn’t – what to write, what not to write – people like it, people don’t like it – what you gonna do?”  So here I sit, tappy-tap, freshly home from church and a motivating talk from Pastor Mark.  Absent from church the last few weeks, I had not heard him speak, seen his “style”, or said much of a hello other than passing in the hall while I worked.  Relationships.  “Send out a thousand messages and touch 6 or 8, evoke a response in 3 or 4 – that’s a good day.”  I got it.  This opportunity God has given me to click lines provides a chance to grow connections, a domino tipping concept I really liked.  He also noted, somewhat off-handedly, that the closer one gets to God, the harder Satan works.  That begged the question, why did I quit sharing anecdotes and thinks with all of you?

I don’t have an answer.  I just did it because the moment of decision seemed correct.  I drift pretty harmlessly around different thinks and faith ideas, talk a little about my life – where I’ve been, where I am, and, once in a while, where I feel I’m going.  As I sat in the Narthex, intentionally sitting a bit apart from things to better regain a sense of belonging, a reflection in the glass caught my attention.  Brief, fleeting – two sparrows flitting past the windows behind me, a hazy flight accenting Pastor’s words.  Old Testament literature spoke of the poor cheaply purchasing such birds to gain forgiveness, a sacrifice taken to the altar on their behalf.  Long ago yesterday life quickly connected to the moment, an accent on God’s care for all creatures great and small.  Not so many minutes later, Pastor said, “Amen.”

“Amen” – so be it, I heartily agree, it is true.  An assent simplified into a small word, a powerful word ending creeds, prayers, vows…not an adorned or ornate term, not flowery, not even very rhythmical.  The term just is what it is.  And so this preacher presentation came clearly to me and I shared the “amen” of it all.  Not too many writings ago I expressed belief that “faith” was more verb than noun, more action than definition.  That think came alive once again in recognizing I have been stifling my living relationship with a faith community, that I have been bruising my heel with stomps of unexplainable frustrations, the orchestrations of a devil who prefers I not have that in my life.  His big band plays a different tune, one easy to hear and easy to join – always followed by trouble.   So maybe herein I join my own A A organization– “Altar Amen’s”.  Hello.  My name is Dave.  I am a sinner, lost in my way.  In search again of God’s way.

‘Tis a cool day for a Sunday in late June.  Just 57 when I rose for church – barely 60 now probably.  Grey bundles cumulus their way about the sky along with cavorts of white fluff.  Breezes whip my cardinal flag and bend through the trees creating a hssssssing sort of shusssssh across the neighborhood yards.  Lyrics play – “Summertime and the livin’ is easy, catfish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…” – “…ain’t no time for the summertime blues…”  Always the oldies for me.  New music does not have the same impact.  Oldies – Bible is a bit that way.  Attempts to modernize and textify or hipify the language does not resonate like pastor’s message today.  Pardon my momentary lapse – kitty Taz just crawled onto my shoulders from the couch, an insistent demand for attention and lunch.  Perhaps that’s the Holy Spirit’s way of telling me that’s what I have been doing – meowwwwing my way across the page seeking attention to my ego.  Time to get back to “soul” and life, to seeking God’s journey.  The stop, look, and listen of the past couple weeks really did do my well.  And the words heard today, that glimpse of truth through the Narthex glass – well, “amen.”