The first time I met Pauline Miller was the last time. It was my first hospital call as newly ordained pastor at St. Pauls Church in Chicago, circa July, 1966. My mentor and dearest clergy colleague, Fred Trost, asked me to visit Pauline at Grant Hospital, short blocks away from the church.
She was in her late 80’s with days ahead numbered. It would appear from the doctor’s report. Sat by her bed, knowing at the get-go a good hospital visit never kept me standing by the side of the bed looking down. She smiled with eyes that blinked. What I noted it was a slow wink, but that meant nothing.
I introduced myself.
After every other sentence, Pauline lifted her hand, ever so slightly, barely off her blanket and said, “I don’t know.”
Didn’t matter what I asked, even to the point if I might offer a prayer—I don’t know.” Nothing more, nothing less, the result of a massive stroke.
I think of that this morning, Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Think of what’s “on our plate” today. We have a President who said he WANTED the UN delegates to laugh during his speech, “It was great.” We have a tightly contested senate race in Texas between the incumbent and a rock star. Of course the most major is set for tomorrow when Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford will speak, regarding Dr. Ford’s saying she was molested by Judge Cavanaugh when she was 15 and he was 17.
It hit me this morning. Of course. Of course for you and me, we “KNOW” the truth. I would guess, not worried I may be wrong, “TRUTH” is factored by our basic pre-situation beliefs.
Are you the victim of a sexual molestation? Have you ever been accused of same?
The questions go on and on.
Down deep, though, Pauline Miller is present with me this morning. The most basic truth on all these matters is, “I don’t know. I don’t really know.”
That doesn’t mean we don’t care. That doesn’t mean we don’t have our beliefs. But, way down deep, our current situation perhaps can never be the servant of truth. Rather, it’s roughshod over by pre-dispositions and political reality in which integrity loses to popularity.
Where will this go?
I don’t know.
But, I do know who I am and whose I am…and it’s not less than a focus upon God, my Creator, Guide and Sustainer.
The day? Bring it on.
And, with God, I agree with Walter Brueggemann who once said, “We MUST live by assurance, never certitude.”
Ah, Walter. Say it again. For I am assured I’m a good person and life has beauty and value. No, that’s not a child of naiveté; rather, it’s a given for me today.
Hank and Es Miller didn’t give birth to junk.
How about you?