Welcome to A Garden Variety Blog!

Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
--Tang Dynasty

I hope you, whomever you are,
will sit down "with" me for tea,
or flavored coffee or spiced cider,
and have a garden variety chat.
Now and then.
I am not so consistant about blogging
as I ought to be.
I *am* consistant about
drinking hot beverage
and the coffee/tea is always on the hob.

Come on in!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Goodbye Vicar

Like my daughter, I have a great love for George MacDonald's books. I love this quote, from "Phantastes".
I think it is him as pastor, speaking through his character, Anodos.

" O pale - faced women, and gloomy - browed men, and forgotten children, how I will wait on you, and minister to you, and, putting my arms about you in the dark, think hope into your hearts, when you fancy no one is near!"

"Ah! My friends, how I will tend you, and wait upon you, and haunt you with my love!"


I saw the loving farewell speeches with different eyes than most tonight. I have known you, and experienced your pastoral care for only the blink of an eye. I had no anecdotal memory to share, although I will always remember,with a smile, the shattering waterglass and your completely honest, transparent reaction to it. Can anything be more evocative than the word, "WHOA!", especially accompanied by arms out-flung?)

In the same way that you woke up the sleeping with that "Whoa!" and the shattering glass, you have often waked me up out of complacency.

I have been so enriched by the quotes you've used in each sermon, being, because of them, not taught just by you, but by such a great cloud of witnesses! (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

On my desk is a stack of books I've purchased from Amazon, because they were important enough for you to quote from them. They will teach and admonish me far beyond the physical ability for you to do so. When you are gone, they will still be here; especially one, which has become my daily companion. When I glance at "Valley of Vision", I think of you. But the minute I open the book and begin reading - anywhere, any page - there is only room in my thoughts for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Who turns the words into a spotlight, a filet knife, or sometimes a soothing balm.

I think your response to sentiments like mine will be similar to this;

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

Or, like Mary E. Max­well, you would respond....

How I praise Thee, precious Savior,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.

Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Channels only, blessed Master,

But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.

It occurs to me, as I think this through, that you must have the same sense of thankfulness toward the same cloud of witnesses who taught you, who were thankful for being taught by others, all the way back to those Puritans who were not, after all, just men in penguin suits and funny hats.

It is a bit like looking deep into a mirror that reflects a mirror that reflects a mirror - and now I am dizzy with the looking!

I've reached the end of my being serious resources, so I will finish by saying thank you.

Thank you for -
- the sweeping, evocative gestures
- the booming voice
- all the funny stuff
And, yes,
- the thundering across the platform to the pulpit

Oh, and especially
- all those really really cool neckties.

You kept my attention.

Helpful Links:

Phantaste, book online

Valley of Vision, book online