Dear Winn – 18 April 2016

Dear Winn:
Thanks for the reminder that Lent may be 40 days but Easter’s 50. I don’t like to give a season too much power, but this Lent felt relentless. There have been some brighter spots since Easter broke, and I’m mucho thankful.
The big news around here is that Sarah has decided to go to Pepperdine in the fall. It was strange, Winn, for the usual w0w-factor at Pepperdine is the beach which is directly across the street from campus. I mean directly. But the weekend Sarah and I went to visit it was raining and the place was socked in fog. The only water I saw was that dripping off Sarah’s umbrella. I let Sarah have the umbrella, sacrifice ya know. But even in the rain, I was wowed. I just kept having a feeling that this was the right place for Sarah. In fact, at one point I texted Sister Meredith and asked her to light a candle for me because I was afraid I was gonna lose it the feeling was so strong. I kept it together, for the most part. Well, there was one moment when tears started leaking out but I just looked up, and they got mixed up in the rain.
Somebody asked me about the “sacrifice” of having two in college this fall. Such a strange question to my ears. I get it, but since the days our kids were born there was never any question I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice for them. I was all-in from the gitgo, whatever it takes. That doesn’t mean its easy, but it does mean I’m not spending a buncha time deliberating over sacrificing. If you don’t want to learn to sacrifice, don’t have kids. That’s what I say at least.
I wrote a poem the other day about the Gadarene demoniac. Remember him? I’m not sure why he was on my mind, but he was. In particular about the days after his miracle became old news and everyone went back to their usual lives and he became blended in once again. I wondered if he stole away at night, back to the tombs. My hunch is that there were spots of time, when the demons weren’t badgering him, when it was quiet. In those moments he talked to the dead, and they listened. I don’t believe his missed the demons by any stretch, but I do wonder if he missed the conversations with that captive audience, and probably also with himself. After Jesus left him, I believe that man carried the burden of his healing for the rest of his life. We so want to believe it was clean, happily ever after. I don’t know, maybe it was. Maybe I think too much.
I know we said we might ease up on these letters after Easter broke. And I probably will, ease up. But I’m still going to write from time to time. Because you are my friend, and I think you feel the same way I do about some things. Not all, but some. And sometimes having a friend who understands some is, like grace, sufficient. ‘Nuff.

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  1. Lynn Schriner on April 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    This whole letter touched me so…I feel like mixing my tears with the rain.
    Please keep writing to Winn as you are led…I think it touches many of us to read your thoughts with your friend. Much like the Psalms…

  2. pastordt on April 18, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Yeah, yeah, and yeah. So true. And your girl will love California, I have a hunch. I hope so, anyhow. If she ever needs a port in a storm, we’re only an hour+ north and would welcome her. We have a grandson starting at Westmont this fall, a good kid, that one. (please do send an occasional letter – they’re always rich and encouraging)

  3. JACKY on April 20, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Of course, now I see, says me the blind. Thanks John for explanation on your poem Opposite Galilee. Poetry shouldn’t need it, but I apparently do. And congrats to Sarah. Very exciting news!

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