Purple Trunks and All Saints’ Day   3 comments

Clothes are like mud flaps to me: functional, not decorative.  Each morning, without thought, I pull out the slacks that happen to be closest to hand and grab a shirt that doesn’t clash.  I wear stuff till it gets holes and then I throw it out, buying more from the frumpy racks of pants and polos at the local Goodwill for $3 a piece.  Everything in my closet and drawers is relatively meaningless and disposable except a pair of purple swim trunks.  The color is garish and the pockets are ridiculous–not made of mesh, but solid cloth, scooping air as I dive and ballooning up around my waist like two neon jellyfish.  But the trunks are irreplaceable, bought as a gift for me ten years ago on a Florida vacation by a dear friend who was my last hope in the world.  He offered not only true friendship, but life purpose in an organization that mirrored my own core values of the shared grace of God embracing our mutual brokenness.  And then he died suddenly of a heart attack.  I miss him.

The organization wandered away from his vision and I found no one else in town with those core values, so it was quite literally my last hope.  For a decade I have been treading water, without any speck on the horizon of meaningful friendship or life focus.  Kimberly is with me here, so I am not alone, but we feel adrift in a sea of disconnection and pointlessness.  My life before was rich with friends and fruitfulness, so Vince and his organization were not unique in that sense, except in being the last on a journey that has since seemed remarkably barren.

A loud swimsuit speaks to me not only of absence, but of presence, for Vince represents to me all those of good heart still in the world and my hope of finding a few more on the long journey home.  When I grow weary in waiting, I remember the past winds on which God blew fellow travelers my way.

Those whose voice once sang love, courage or patience into our hearts sing still to this day, renewing us by their memory. And lest we forget and the echoes of their refrain grow distant, we have been given this special day of the year on the church’s calendar to call us to reach back into this treasure chest of our past and run our thoughts over the contours of their impact, tracing in our minds those deep and abiding impressions that continue to shape our lives for the better.


Posted November 1, 2015 by janathangrace in Personal

Tagged with , ,

3 responses to “Purple Trunks and All Saints’ Day

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  1. thanks for the reminder to remember our own personal saints who have graced us with God’s presence in the confusing and wearying realities of our lives.

  2. thanks Kent. thanks for the hopeful reminder that those voices in our lives still sing. Your words made me think of Jonathan and David and the depth of their friendship and how those friendships are harder to come by as the years go by.

  3. thank you. this encouraged me.

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