Monday, October 12, marks the first anniversary of the death of my companion and colleague, Dick Drinon; it’s also the 13th anniversary of my marriage to Lory, at which Dick co-officiated.
Last night Dick’s daughter Sarah called to tell me the good news of her engagement to Peter; they set the date and place – next October in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Sarah is my goddaughter, and she asked me to officiate. It’s a plan – and a gift.
Life moves through time – the Greeks called regular time chronos, but the special moments they called kairos. Chronos is quantitative, kairos is qualitative; it’s about those special moments that may pass quickly, but live in us forever, when we capture them.
Allow me, then, to light a three-part virtual candle: to the precious memory of Dick; to my wife, companion and best friend, Lory; and to Sarah and Pete’s happiness together.
Our guests from our Partner Church in Alsoboldogfalva will arrive this Friday. You will have a chance to offer words or gestures of welcome to them at both services this Sunday. This is a kairos time for them – nine out of the ten will board a plane for the first time. One, Gizeke, who acted as translator for Dick Drinon and me when we made our first visit to Transylvania several years ago, told me: “It is a life-long dream to have chance to fly in an airplane.”
At our services a week ago Sunday I put Care Committee sign-up sheets in the foyer; sixty signed up already. If you want to add your name to that list of folks who will be making calls, meals, offering rides or writing a get-well note, call the church office and leave your name and email and/or telephone numbers. You’ll be hearing from us soon, as we get the Care Committee organized.
The essence of our religious or spiritual life is summarized in the simple statement that ‘we are in the process of creating a life by what we do, what we think, what we pay attention to.’ It’s not complicated. It’s often demanding, and it’s always meaningful. Mary Oliver summarized it nicely in her beautiful poem she titled, Praying:
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.