When Accidents Happen

I’m thinking of Senator Wayne Morse this morning. Certainly for all of you, Out of the blue.  Let me explain.

April was “remember 79-years-month. In sections, called “River Runs Through Me.” Recalling many fishing experiences, not a surprise. Hence, with no apology to
Robert Redford, the book title.

But, this morning, when I see how popularity preempts integrity I think of Senator Morse.

Background, please stay with me, for the other theme this morning is how things happen as surprise, but deeper as God’s presence.

In my first ministry, St. Pauls Church in Chicago, a primary responsibility was to supervise an after school program for kids 7-12. Was actually making sure kids stayed safe on their scooters.

My most memorable failure came with a shriek. A 7 –year-old-girl had rammed into the brick wall. I knew her and her sister, but not her parents. Knew the name was Rosner.

Took the Rosner sisters to their home. June Rosner, the mother, opened the door. Her daughter was screaming like her world had ended. “Honey, please don’t scream; the Senator is taking a nap.”

I explained the accident. Julie Rosner understood, accidents happen.

I then asked, “Senator?”

“Yes, I chair the Cook County Democratic Party. Senator Morse from Oregon is our friend and is speaking tonight. He’s upstairs taking a nap.”

“Wow, I’m from Portland, Oregon, never met the Senator.”

A great tag, “Oh, let us take care of that. We’re having dinner at 6 p.m.; please join us.”

I did!

Then. Drum roll here. A year later I was called to be Associate Pastor at the First Congregational Church in Eugene, Oregon.

One Sunday, who showed up? Senator Wayne Morse. Learned he was a member.

That began a valued friendship. Whenever he was in town I was privileged to have some “Senator Morse time.”

I admired him earlier when he and Senator Gruening from Alaska were the only two Senators who voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, about continuing war in Vietnam. Why all this?

Because for me, personal, my impression of Senator Morse was higher than definition: he never let popularity preempt integrity.

Yes, he lost his next race to continue as Senator. And, yes. He died of leukemia. Still. He was an example to me of the best value in living. Today that’s missing.

Certainly, the relationship with Senator Morse wouldn’t have happened if the Rosner daughter hadn’t hit a brick wall. Literally.

So it has been in my life. The surprise has become the essence. Some time let me tell you when two United Airlines pilots didn’t show up for a flight from Denver to Austin…which led to my meeting a lovely “other passenger,” a lady named Diane. Next August Diane and celebrate our 19th anniversary.

About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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1 Response to When Accidents Happen

  1. revpattyb says:

    Meant to respond earlier, but the days seem to just run together.

    Small world story. I grew up just up the hill from the Morse Ranch. Place always looked pristine from the road with a white fence to keep in his herd of cattle/cows/beef! Drove or road my bike by his place close to every day. Never went further than the driveway up to the house. I thought it was kinda cool that the guy went from Mr. Morse to Senator Morse! It made it easy to say I lived about half way between Sen. Morse’s ranch and the TV station at the top of the hill.

    My father was a staunch Republican so never had any kind thoughts for the man, so when he was asked to speak at my high school graduation (1972) there were a lots of harrumphs and snide remarks made before and afterwards. I couldn’t tell you what he said for the life of me, but at 18 and wanting to get out of Dodge in the next VW bus, I didn’t much care.

    Our paths were destined to cross at some point!

    Blessings, Patty

    On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 6:44 AM Mark H. Miller’s Blog wrote:

    > Mark H Miller posted: “I’m thinking of Senator Wayne Morse this morning. > Certainly for all of you, Out of the blue. Let me explain. April was > “remember 79-years-month. In sections, called “River Runs Through Me.” > Recalling many fishing experiences, not a surprise. Hence, wi” >

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