Another giant falls in the forest.
I’m thinking of Eugene and Frederick, the two of them sitting at the same time in the pews at Madison Ave Presbyterian in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young and open to the world and wild, not knowing each other but both having their profound encounter with grace via the lyric and power of George Buttrick’s preaching. Who could have known how the words would flow, how they’d evoke such wonder in us, such hope, such yearning for a life faithful and beautiful and good.
I hope they are sharing quite a view and a bourbon together now, if it works that way. And I hope that Eugene and Frederick know how much they’ve meant to us, how many of us felt the dark fall back a little when we encountered something so marvelous and simple as a sentence, a string of hearty words put to true use. Can you really open a whole world or put salve to a deep, ancient wound with only one clear, heart-wrenching line? I hope they know how many of us felt less alone and more emboldened and more alive in God because of how they helped us to see and hear and stand in awe.
Frederick, you told us that beautiful and terrible things would happen — but you also told us, “Don’t be afraid.” We’re trying. We really are.