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Marc doesn’t waste a day

by davesandel on September 1st, 2021

Wednesday, September 1, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

Marc doesn’t waste a day

Marc and his friend were moving furniture yesterday, bumped into an old PVC pipe which broke the fitting, and water poured everywhere. Marc ran to shut the water off, but recent concrete repairs left concrete on the valve, which he had to knock off. His friend was getting tired of holding the pouring water away from Marc’s pile of possessions. At last, he got enough space to turn off the valve.

Yesterday was Marc’s birthday! Last night he went to Pour Brothers for his party. (After pouring water, comes the pouring beer …) He was cool and collected when we FaceTimed him in the afternoon. He has been happy and happier these last few weeks. His job, his hobbies, and his friends all enrich his life.

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.

When he was four years old he led the pack of Easter Sunday School boys and girls, racing toward us with a paper crown barely staying on his head. “He’s alive!” he said. His eyes sparkled with joy. He jammed the crown back down on his head. To be sure we heard, he said it again. “He’s alive! He’s alive, Mommy, he’s alive!”

I, like a green olive tree in the house of God, trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

When he was sixteen Marc nearly quit school. Instead he stuck it out and graduated from UIUC with a sociology degree. That was a special moment, because for Marc school generally worked better through his hands, outside classrooms, in relationship with friends. Marc has been an empathic, supportive, helping-with-everything friend for many many people in his 39 years.

I will thank you always for what you’ve done, and proclaim the goodness of your name before your faithful ones. I trust in the mercy of God forever.

Sometimes I suggest he inherit our counseling practice. Well, buy it actually, for a dollar. A great deal of what in the business world is called “good will” has accumulated in and around our practice over 30 plus years, and Marc’s personal gifts would only allow that good will to grow. Perhaps this transition will someday come to pass. Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t that be a kick?

The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.

Marc’s independent thinking got him in trouble at times when he was a kid. (But he does his initials sketched into the concrete sidewalk just in front of our house.) Sometimes I thought I had to “protect” our family from him, but perhaps that was only because he and I were so much alike. Now our times together are much more peaceful. When I was home last week, we grilled ribeyes for just the two of us, and cleaned everything up together afterward. He brought a very nice bottle of wine. The next morning he came back and cut down our heavy overgrowing hedge.

In April Marc flew to Austin. He and I took a daytrip into the west, into the hill country. In the rain we hiked a couple of miles along the Guadalupe River. We stopped for lunch at the Devil’s Backbone Tavern outside San Marcos. But they had no food, only beer.  We talked and talked.

The crowds went looking for Jesus, and when they found him they tried to prevent him from leaving.

Marc nearly moved down to Austin, but changed his mind when he got back to Urbana and his friends. They have poured themselves into each other’s lives, and Marc’s loyalties run deep. Of course he could make friends anywhere, but why, when his community in Illinois is so rich?

In The Book of Longings, Sue Monk Kidd’s autobiographical character Ana says, “I no longer believed so much in the God of rescue, but much more in the God of presence.” Marc’s life these days lives out that belief as well. He’s caught on to the substance of things unseen, to the power of suffering to break his ego and bind him up in the ever-present house of God.

We are so happy for him.

(Colossians 1, Psalm 52, Luke 4)

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