We're all blest

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Aug. 28, 2008

Dear Patty,

I don't find myself in church very often. Organized religion might tempt me more if it were more disorganized, welcomed the downtrodden and the mystical. If a service made you feel better rather than worse. Worst of all is to go to church and feel nothing at all.

I go to DC's church on special occasions, mainly to be husbandly. But during one period I attended quite often because the pastor had a special gift.

The Rev. Doug Scott was a retired minister only filling in until the church could find a permanent one. He delivered his sermons so artlessly he might have known them by heart. It was as if he were having a conversation with each one of us across the kitchen table.

The kindness in his eyes made me believe there can be holy men.

He was not like me. He embraced the doctrine of his religion, loved it to his very soul. Christ gave him his calling and the fire in his belly. I always wanted to have a cup of coffee with Doug and ask how that fire came upon him. It must have been something. He was in love with God.

"How will I be awake and aware/ if the light of the Beloved is absent?" Rumi asks, the Beloved being God. "Love wills that this Word be brought forth."

Doug Scott spent his life bringing it forth.

We sang "Amazing Grace" at his funeral Wednesday. I was unfamiliar with the final hymn. It began, "For all the saints who from their labors rest" and ended "Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest."

Doug Scott was blest by blessing others. They included a support group for men who had gone toe to toe with cancer as he had more than once.

I attended the group one day a couple of months ago to write about them. During the meeting, Doug said he still had some things he wanted to do but was ready if the Lord wanted him.

The minister who gave the funeral sermon said Doug was always prepared for almost everything. Doug had been his superior and always left him little notes reminding him of things to do. On Sunday mornings and at all times, Doug reminded us of our spiritual natures, of the covenant between God and humankind, the reason we hope and believe in the sacred.

Something else of great consequence occurred in our household Wednesday morning. DC and I got a new nephew. Cadin Kaiser tipped the scales in San Diego at just under 10 pounds.

Look around at the joy that won't be denied, not even by death. We're all blest.

Love, Sam

Sam Blackwell is a former reporter for the Southeast Missourian.

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