Unmemorable Moments

WHEN IT CAME TO my work, my ministry, writing books was not the only form it took. I continued to preach from time to timeat fancy places like Yale and Princeton and unfancy places like the small Congregational church in Rupert, where the thirty or so people who came of a Sunday and the creaking old organ and the swept and dusted shabbiness gave me often a richer sense of a place where God had been truly spoken to and heard than many a more Gothic and grander. I taught Sunday school in the deserted bar of an Inn in Dorset and helped with religion conferences elsewhere. When some of the local churches were without a minister for one reason or another, I took weddings and funerals and christenings. Every once in a while, people with problems who had never found their way to a church found their way to me precisely because I had no church and for that reason seemed to them more approachable. And I kept on trying to pray the way Agnes Sanford had taught me because I was helpless to do otherwise. So both at work and at play, life went on in many places other than the room where I wrote, in other words; there were memorable moments and unmemorable moments, and as far as my sense of being trapped is concerned, it was the unmemorable ones, the apparently random and everyday ones, that turned out to be the key moments, the key that let me out of the trap at last. 

-Originally published in Now and Then


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