Monday, February 9, 2015

68 years ago

I was called to the front of the church and congregation by the pastor of the church at 4201 North Newstead in St. Louis, MO. It was February 9, 1947 and he had just completed his sermon. Special singer, Elbridge McKenzie, fell victim to a bad cold that day and could not do his musical presentation but Dr. Harold Boyer offered his congregation a surprise by inviting me and my bride (by previous arrangement) to come forward.

We had come in from Belleville, IL, where I was stationed at Scott Field, on a bitterly cold Suday morning so that he could officiate our wedding. Some 300 or more congregants were present but neither of our families could be present and I was soon to ship to San Antonio for possible overseas duty.

We were married that day, feted by Associate Pastor Patton at her home; and we launched upon a journey that we learned 4-months later in San Antonio would end in her premature death within 3-12 months. Today marks the beginning of a tenuous and tedious journey that rather than ending in a bitter anti-climax has now criss-crossed America for 68-years of educating for service, giving that service, and continuing for better or worse through a retirement of more than 18-years of re-directed serving.

The 20-year-old bride outlived herself so many times we've almost stopped counting - a living miracle of life although fragile. I simply rejoice in the grace of God that brought us this far . . .

No comments: