Monday, February 23, 2009

A Day with a Hero

Today I got to spend the day with one of my heroes. We brought Calvin Miller in to spend the day with our pastoral staff. He was his gregarious, insightful, and candid self. We laughed and cried at his honesty and creativity. I am so pleased they got to know him in some way like I do.

Calvin became a hero of mine when I read in his book The Singer, "Life is the Song and not the Shrine." I had just started seminary, begun to serve on my first staff, and got married that year. The line and Song hit me in the heart, and I never saw the church and my faith the same way. From that time on--some thirty books and several personal conversations later--Calvin became a mentor, inspiration, and above all, a friend. (He's graciously commented on my writing projects I sent him, and wrote the forward for two of them.)

He walked us through his memoirs, Life Is Mostly Edges, and chased any rabbits that ran across our trail. He spoke of topics from disloyal staff members to his life-long love and partnership with his wife, Barbara. We traveled from Enid, OK to the Celts of Ireland and heard him read his poems and stories like "The Muffin Man"and "Tuesday's Cookies" in The Unfinished Soul

Calvin is a pastor, professor, writer, painter, and passionately in love with Jesus. We caught some of all that today. This is one of those days I know I will remember for a very long time.

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