Monday, April 7, 2014

Snow Falling on Spruces


It is 7:45 in the morning, I am about to take my daughter Haley to school, I am sitting at my desk and I am looking out my home office window, and I am watching

Snow Falling on Spruces...

It is snowing in Colorado Springs on April 7!?!?  "I'm dreaming of a white Easter..."  But mostly I woke up this morning deeply grateful for my incredible journey with First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs which officially ended, as senior pastor, yesterday afternoon.

As the last member of the church made their way through a long receiving line to say goodbye to Star and I, at 2:00PM in the afternoon, I walked out of First Pres, with my pulpit robe thrown over my shoulder with a huge amount of gratitude.  As difficult as a call of the magnitude of First Pres can be, it is not the difficulties that I will take away with me.  My main takeaway will be the memory of a deeply loving congregation who is ardently, and sometimes desperately seeking God's will in their lives.

One exchange from yesterday will remain with me for a long time.  A 93 year old woman, who has been a member of first Pres for over 50 years peered at me from underneath the weight of a back that was bent with osteoporosis and time and said, "Graham, I was around when Howard Hansen (the previous, previous, previous pastor) of First Pres left as pastor.  I was sad then, and I am sad now.  You always reminded me of him.  I will miss you.  And I will see you in the next life."  Then, with the strong smile of a farmers daughter, and the focussed determination of a school teacher she said, "Now, get out of here, know that we love you, take care of that family of yours, and go have some fun!"

It's now 7:53 and I should take my nonagenarian friend's advice.  My daughter Haley needs to get to school before she and I get an "oops" sheet from her teacher.

Grateful!

For this church, this experience, this family, this life...and for...

Snow Falling on Spruces...

All For Now,
GB

3 comments:

  1. Graham don’t know that you remember me, but I attended your bible studies at Old Chicago and invited you to our Christmas party last year, ( you were sick and were not able to make it), we are neighbors of Bob and Sue Lanting. Anyway, we have not attended First Pres for quite some time as I got a new job in Fort Wayne Indiana, (you thought CO Springs was a transition form CA, you should try Indiana). The family is living with me in Indiana during the school year and spending summers at our Springs home. I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know how extremely disappointed I was to hear about your departure. I honestly thought that you were just what First Pres needed. I think very highly of John Stevens but fully understand and accept how it is time for him to move on. Your acceptance of the position at First Pres so closely resembled what John did at a young age, I really believe that what he must have gone through at that young age would closely resemble what you were going through at First Pres. I commend you for what you did, I am so very sorry you will not be there going forward. I truly hope that it wasn’t too overwhelming for you and that this is somehow a part of the reason for your departure. I wish you and your family the very best, you are a strong pastor Graham and need to continue to stand for what you believe is right for a church like First Pres in today’s world. My prayers are with you…

    PS. We recently drove through your hometown in CA and I must admit I though what the heck was he thinking! And all the wine tasting rooms too!! Also, my apologies for submitting this through your Blog but I do not have an email for you.

    Rob Simon
    VP & GM Structural & Rail Division
    Steel Dynamics, Inc.

    rob.simon@steeldynamics.com
    direct: 260.625.8800 | facsimile: 260.625.8952

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