A Red-Letter Month

August 31, 2017

We will never forget May 1993.

 1) One month prior, the pastor of the church where I served informed me that five “core families” felt that “God was saying your (my) time with them was finished”. He suggested I get a resume together and shop it around at the coming national convention.


What a surprise. Just six weeks before, we had discussed possibilities for long-term future serving together. No premonition or hint preceded the conversation.

I made diligent inquiry, but never could learn or discern the issue. I still don’t know. Twenty-four years later it’s a puzzle.

We talked. Agonized. Prayed. Questioned. Wondered.

Increasingly the situation seemed untenable, especially for my wife, so I submitted my resignation six weeks later.* We had no idea what was next.

2) Then in May, my uncommon servant-minded Aunt Betty came from Indiana to see us in Anchorage. (If  you care and have the time, this will let you know what a star she was!)

She spent about 10 days, including a trip to Denali Park for white water rafting and sightseeing. Her time in our home, with her wisdom, overflowing spiritual optimism, and child-like joy and curiosity mixed in a soothing balm for our hearts and perspectives.

Not that confusion and perplexity stopped interrupting.

But the timing was perfection. She brought a great glowing peace.

3) Remember, this was the month of May. Day after day sitting in our living room in the evening, we marveled at achingly clear skies and temperatures in the 80s.

Yes, the 80s. In May! In Anchorage. Pinch me. 

Do official records reflect this? Probably not. But in our little corner of town, people were talking and thermometers were shouting.

May 1993 weather-wise is in its own category. Oh, May it be once again! (couldn’t help myself.)

All these things combined to make May 1993 a red letter month in our life history. We will never forget. The weather and temperatures are enmeshed in that memory – one of the best weather months of any since we arrived in Anchorage in 1987. Sweet life poured over our chaos of disappointment and sadness.

We have lived 22 Mays in Anchorage since as of this writing. May 1993 still maintains a grip on our memories, one of those memories that forgets to recede into the past – feeling contemporary enough for us to converse about it still.

In pronounced, prolonged pain, God gave personalized blessing.

Elements from my worldview connect here:

  • God is good.
  • God is involved.
  • He never misses a thing.
  • He knows what we need.
  • He shows up in tough times.
thinking life is good
calamitous news invades
kindness lifts its head

* All this is past, forgiven, left in the hands of God. If it had not happened, we’d never known the privileges and experiences, far too detailed to recount here, of which many continue.

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