Last weekend I spent sorting screws, nails, bolts, nuts and other hardware. Not exciting, but it needed to be done, thanks to great help from Dr. Tom Smith (cardiologist who sorts and organizes quickly) and several others!!!
After a long day’s work and a great Deerfoot meal, Tucker Lownes, a Deerfooter now married and with kids, asked me to take a walk with him. We had talked by phone a few weeks previously about an idea he had. We went to the cabin where Sally Jo and I were staying. Tucker thanked me for the help I had been to him through the years, and in particular when we had recently talked by phone. He went on to say that, as the result of our conversation, he had made some decisions, talked with a few other people, and was now headed in a new direction. I had no idea I had said anything that impacted the thinking of this man I greatly respect. God used me as His agent, and I had been totally unaware.
This weekend I flew to Washington D.C. for the ordination of James Swynford into the Anglican Episcopal Church and, that evening, a dinner to celebrate James’s engagement to Anna, whom I had never met. While in DC I stayed with Russ and Mary Vought – I was the minister for their wedding in DC last year. I also had time with James and Katie Boland. I was the minister for their wedding in DC a few years back. A good weekend indeed!
James had been a Deerfoot Counselor and Voyageur leader. After graduating from college he was one of twelve invited by Falls Church, Episcopal to participate in their Timothy Program. Under the guidance of the church, this small group studied together, met with leaders in government and business, participated actively in the program of this outstanding church, had regular jobs, and did other intentional things designed to encourage the integration of their faith into daily living. An intense year! I was privileged to meet with this group one morning. James then taught school for two years before entering seminary.
James had e-mailed me at the end of 2008 to say he would be graduating from seminary in June and had applied for a position on the Falls Church ministerial staff. “Would I be willing to serve as a reference?” He went on to say he did not feel he had much chance of getting the position as he was single. I e-mailed asking him to call me.
He called and we talked about what he had been doing and the church opening. I asked if he really wanted the position…”of course!” So I suggested he find a good woman and get married! He laughed! But then said that in October he had met Anna, a girl that really interested him. She had graduated from Wheaton College with a trombone performance major. She was really sharp! But, she was from the other side of the country – Washington state! Yes, they had gotten together since they met…in fact she was in the DC area right now, auditioning for an opening in major orchestra. I asked if she had met his parents. James laughed and explained that he was not nearly that far along! So I pushed! “James, how long would it take the two of you to drive to your parent’s home?” 2 ½ hours. “When is the next time she will be in the area?” No idea. “So why not drive her to meet your parents, spend the night, and return to DC? You could talk for five hours and she would meet your parents. What can you lose?”
Two days later James called to tell me the four of them had several wonderful hours together. He was sure he had found his future wife. We both laughed. A few months later James went out to meet Anna’s parents. This weekend Anna’s parents came for James’ ordination service, in which Anna participated, and for the engagement celebration. James joins the Fall’s Church ministerial staff in a few months. James and Anna plan a January wedding.
Living In Partnership With God includes hours of “sorting nails” and some very rewarding moments!