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Going Towards the Light

Feb 1, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In early January, I traveled to Charlotte where my grandchildren wanted to celebrate my 80th birthday with me. We had a wonderful time together including very creative birthday cards and an enormous chocolate cake with a gigantic 80 on it and a mass of candles. We bridged the generation gap beautifully and I left with joy and gratitude to make the 270 mile return trip to Atlanta.

I felt energized and ‘youthful.’ Four miles from my home my car was sideswiped on its passenger side by a truck which made an inexplicable left swerve into me.

Fortunately I was unhurt- except for a bruised left hand, which began to swell over the next few days, quite painfully. My car was seriously damaged and is still, almost a month later, in the shop. I am experiencing the frustration of dealing with unresponsive insurance companies and the unexpected cost of car rental (which I am assured will be reimbursed- someday). I have to appear in court as a witness and I have spent a great deal of time on the telephone and sending out e-mails and documents. In other words my life has been significantly disrupted and my routines upset. It occurred to me that having just celebrated the joy of grandchildren and reaching my ninth decade, I was suddenly and dramatically reminded of my mortality and the fragility and transience of my daily routines. If I had been on the other side of my car when this happened I might by now be dead!

We are in the season of Epiphany- the ‘showing forth’ of God’s love and of God’s Way. It is the season of renewed light- of enlightenment. While I reject the notion of magical thinking, I cannot help but reflect with some gravity on the significance in my immediate experience of these three simultaneous and coincidental events- my birthday and grandchildren, my accident and its attendant reminders of mortality and transience, and the season of light, illuminating the promises and faithfulness of God. Thank God for the gift of life and light and for these occasions, albeit dramatic and challenging, to look inwardly at ourselves and at where and who we are in our lives and in our world.

‘In Thy Light shall we see light.’

From The Rev. Canon John Bolton

Canon Chaplain for Clergy
(404) 402-7599