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Friday Epistle for January 19, 2018

January 19th, 2018 by Carl Buffington

ALONG THE ROAD

 

          In the gospel reading for  Sunday, Jesus called Andrew and Simon, then James and John, and later Emmanuel and William.  The last two are dear friends and I have been blessed to spend this past week with them: talking, praying, planning, laughing and eating.

 

     As the song sings, "My bags are packed and I'm ready to go..."  and not so much, as today holds my last hours with them.  Time is precious.
     My flight is  tonight, and as I reflect I remember the words from a fairly blunt blog about keeping things in perspective, I am reminded of just how precious time is.

 

"I'm 27 now. I don't want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.
I haven't started this 'note before I die' so that death is feared - I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it's inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a 'taboo' topic that will never happen to any of us.. That's been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bull***t."
Here's a second clip from later on:

" Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people."
     27 year old Holly Butcher died January 4.   Her blog was released the 7th.  Time is precious, and I am so thankful for the time I have had with these two disciples of Jesus and that I have been so blessed as to share some of the same road with them as followers of Jesus.

 

     If you haven't read the book  KOLINI, an Unlikely Archbishop, you are missing a true life adventure that is hard to believe.  And my bishop, Mugenyi Bahemuka William is one of the most courageous, and fearless  people on the planet.  Just living in the DRC would qualify him for that but his steadfastness, faithfulness, and joyfulness can shine so brightly that sometimes you need to shield your eyes.

 

     I came here to be with them, to spend time, and to rescue some time, realizing just how precious it is.  It had become clear to me that I cannot do both parish ministry and be the Prefect of Anglican Mission International.  Both had pieces of my heart for very different reasons.    The decision for both Barbara and me was clear, but would be hard to share with my Bishop and Archbishop.

 

     I like the bluntness of Holly's words.  Sometimes God's grace can be a diamond in the rough. The thing about true friends is, like she says, they give and give.  I have received grace upon grace this week and for the past 25 years, and bring home to my other precious disciples many diamond studded moments to share with you along the road.

 

     Thanking you for your love and support through good times and bad, I pray together we will be wholehearted followers of our Lord.

 

     It was hard to say good bye to being the Prefect of our new chapter of Anglican Mission, Anglican Mission International, but both Barbara and I knew this was the right decision.

 

See you along the road,

 

+Carl 

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Carl Buffington

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