For the past month or so, I've been in an email dialogue with a friend,
one who has been as a brother,
one who was pastor to me when my own brother died.
I've known Ed since I was 9 years old. He's stayed in my home many times growing up. His capacity to tell stories, to sing and play his guitar - and the boldness with which the truth of his message is delivered (while wrapped in grace) is among the most effective witnesses to Kingdom of God that I've known.
Plus, there's always been something cool about a guy who loads up his van, travels across the county and does his thing. That's my own "I wanna be a rock star" thing coming out again.
Ed truly is one of the last circuit riders.
I'm not going to tell Ed's story - I'll link to his blog where you can read it for yourself (click here).
This episode in Ed's long ministry got to him - far more than I thought it would. But you know how it is when you see the humanity of those you've held in high regard for most of your life. There is no bubble burst for me. Rather, it makes firm the resonance of spirit I have long felt for him that even with our humanity, in spite of it, or maybe even because of it, God both needs and expects us to be faithful.
For my Saint John's readers, you'll see that we are mentioned.
What do you make of that?
For me, I'm not sure I could be more convinced that ours is a needed voice in the church now more than ever.
I'm damned proud of Ed,
and I stand with him,
and I pray for those who won't.
I pray for all (especially those of my faith tradition of origin)whose hardened and closed hearts betray the empty rhetoric of their denomination's grotesquely expensive PR campaign, that one day, those hearts may truly be open.
Oh, and be looking for Ed's return to Peabody & Bellevue before too long.