Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lost patrol


My agent has come to work on the manse sale. And has encountered resistance, nasty resistance, from the management agent on the other side. Our plans once again derailed. With personal attacks thrown in. And it is devastating. A business meeting becomes pastoral. Why is nothing easy? Why does nothing go as planned? Is there some kind of curse hanging over us? Is it about our competency or worse yet character? I need to listen again to my own sermon from yesterday. I’m still waiting for the voice of the advocate to come through. And so goes the first half of my day. 
Cara looks in, sees something is going on and quickly backs away.

RL is working on an improvised way to keep the big front wooden doors open. More about function than aesthetics.

As I’m gathering up files to head downtown and talk to an attorney about our defense in a lawsuit, Pat and Larry stop in to see our progress on our office clean up. Pat’s finally finished with jury duty and anxious to dive back in. They’re  both impressed with what we’ve accomplished, glad to see others are interested and  involved too. Ready for the next step.

Caterina Bertolotto
When I return from downtown, Beppe ( and Caterina ( are in the sanctuary checking out the projection system for their upcoming concert with Carman Moore. (  Caterina will be projecting her images along with Carman’s new piece created with Beppe. After some adjustments, the images are now filling the screen. Beppe begins playing his bowls, just to get a feel for how this will go. Her images move, float, drift and flow across the screen while Beppes’ bowls sing. I am looking forward to this. Anna and puppy are taking it in, waiting for Bible Study. 

When they finish, I give them a quick tour of Angelo’s paintings, Beppe especially taken by the 3D ones. He gathers up his bowls, Sometimes I wish I played a smaller instrument he says as he hads out, his heavy bag over his shoulder. 

Ready for Bible Study. Cara comes breathless from her flamenco class with Soli to join us. Tonight we’re looking at Paul’s witness to the resurrection. The first, earliest, really. ( 1 Corinthians 15). He recounts all the various appearances of the risen Jesus, finally to him, as one untimely born. Point is, the way he encountered Jesus is the way we encounter Jesus. 

We note his arrogance always in tension with his humility. ( I worked harder than any of them...) His carefully crafted arguments, developed philosophy and theology. The first Christian theologian. Stephen points out that he’s all over the map. Uses sandwiches like Mark, IE, introduces an idea, he’s off on a journey, returns to the restated idea. Anna reads the chapter, sees tangential thinking. Seesms bipolar to her. 

It is impossible to create a systematic theology out of Paul. And yet, there are these exquisite moments: By the grace of God I am what I am, and God’s grace to me has not been in  vain. (15:10) Times when out of the swirl of his rhetoric emerges something simple and true.  I finish by reading his words about love.(1 Cor.13)

After a bowl of chili with Poet Tim at the Gate, I come back to wrap up my work. Stephen and Cara are rapt in conversation with Sgt. Keith and los Rodriguez on the steps. They are wearing identical US Marine Recon hats. It’s a dilemma. I need to know their plan. But the steps have never been cleaner. And things are definitely under control. Safe. Protected. They break camp every morning. 

I’ve learned more of his story. But much more is shrouded in mystery. How did they wind up here on these steps? Where do they go in the morning? Did they serve together? It’s as if some lost patrol vanished into the mist in Afghanistan and  appeared out of thin air here. 

I hear the conversation continue on into the night. 

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