Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I just had the courage to listen to a sermon I delivered at the Myers Park Baptist Church on June 8, 2008. I had a CD of it, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on giving it a listen. I tend to be my own worst critic, wishing I had edited that word, or spoken quicker there, or whatever--so it takes a peaceful place to listen to your own stuff. I stumbled onto the sermon at: http://www.mpbconline.org/sermons_2008.php
After I gave it a listen, I was checking out Facebook trying to respond to a student's post and it was one of those "ah ha" moments, because the picture I was trying to paint in the sermon was of a white guy and a black guy making friends over some sacred reading. In the sermon, the shared reading is from Isaiah and the story is told in Acts 8--Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. But the "ah ha" moment came when I rediscovered this picture which I have named Two Bills:
This picture was taken by my dear friend Lanecia Rouse and it is the meeting of two strangers: Bill Nathan is on the left, a stranger, far from his home in Haiti and sitting on somewhat pretentious steps in Durham, NC. He was our guest at the Duke Youth Academy this summer and such an amazing man. http://www.divinity.duke.edu/programs/youth/
The toddler on the right is my youngest son, William Linney, inquisitive and ready to make a new friend. They do in fact seem to be exchanging a notebook, some kind of reading, like the link between Philip and the Ethiopian.
Frederick Buechner once spoke in a lecture, "I wish we could meet again as strangers." He went on to say how there is something so authentic that can occur when we meet someone for the first time. In this picture I think there is authenticity, and peacefulness, and I'm bold enough to even say love. Two strangers meeting with no presumptions or expectations, just see what happens next.
Life can change drastically in such seemingly inconsequential moments.
Check out Lanecia's photos and support her trip to Uganda at: http://sunshinepapier.blogspot.com/