Wednesday, 10 December 2008


There is a friend I have. I have known him since he was about the age my son is now. I even mentored him and tutored him in subjects he had problems with in school. I moved when he was a young teenager and then, through the wonder of our journey, I was back in his life and by then he was out of high school and living the rough and tumble life as a young adult. Today he is in prison. He and I have kept up through letters. I must admit I have learned more from him in these letters than I would ever surmise he has learned from me. He can put so eloquently the feeling of being left out of God's world, and at the same time feeling the closeness of God in what he goes through on a daily basis. He states in his latest letter, "It's hard trying to do what God intends us to do." He goes on to suggest that saying one is only human seems like a very shallow excuse. Indeed on many days I feel that same way. In this Advent season as we await again the coming of Christ into our lives, I am thankful for the human nature our God was willing to take on. Somehow it is comforting to know the Holy One knows those feelings.

There was at the end of this letter from my friend, a bit of an apology. I think he was referencing the letter but it reads, "Hope to hear from you soon and I am sorry it is so messy." Me too, I thought. It is often messy. I wrote him today to say his letter was not messy at all, that I got it, all of it, clear as a bell and the beauty and clearness in it will help me know Christmas in a way he would never imagine, and finally, thank you, once again, my friend.


  1. Oh Greg, what a wonderful post. Indeed life is messy. I wish I had the faith and belief that you possess. You would be surprised how much your blog means to me. Sometimes I am not familiar with the thing you are writing but there is nothing unfamiliar about this one. We see it all too often. I marvel at this man who, even in prison, is in touch with "what God intends".
    Life is messy...

    Gerald & I are leaving tomorrow for a 2 week trip to France so it will be a while before I am able to check in on your blog.

    Happy Christmas.

  2. If life were not messy, I'm pretty sure we'd all be fairly useless for the work of redemption.

    Several years ago a new acquaintance told me that if I knew all of his past, I wouldn't be friends with him. At a "micro" level, personally, and "macro" level, ecclesiastically, I hope that's not true.