Monday, June 10, 2013

Made sharp by Faith

Front: Robert, Mary, Mom and Dad; Back: Susan, Bill, and Don   about 1967...oh, the hair-do's of the day...

Originally, the family had five children, who became five adults.  Once a year a few of them would manage to meet together from the reaches of Pacific to Atlantic.  Robert was the stalwart lynch pin who lived near the "folks", told the stories, and looked forward when the others returned.

Then Robert died, at age 46.

"Coming home" was now a different matter.  The siblings felt the absence of this brother.  

There was one who never came home; never--well, seldom.  Once in ten years, and then another time a few years later.  That was Bill.

When Bill died, there were only three left: Donald (the eldest and now only brother), Susan (the pushy middle child) and Mary (the youngest and most stubborn).  Don was the one who helped Robert in his last days, since he lived only 90 miles away.  He helped the folks in their grieving.  He flew to Louisiana to bring Bill "home" to be buried.

When our mother was dying, Don was there almost every day, holding her hand, taking care of her wishes.

Don is now the lynch pin.  This is what he recently wrote to me, and he has given me permission to publish it.  God bless this man, my oldest brother, my friend.

Had an emotional day which started three weeks ago with (grandson) Aaron’s confirmation service.  If you saw my Facebook entry, there is a picture of Aaron kneeling at an altar wearing a stole he made in the course of class activities.  His pastors have their hands on him, and he is surrounded by his mom and dad.  What a moment; they call on God to bless Aaron in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Photo: Grandson, Aaron, recieving a blessing at the confirmation ceremony, Chatham United Methodist.
Grandson Aaron
I worship with them after my (ministerial) time at Loami Church.  I constantly hear from my friends of the contributions of Jeremy and his family to the community of faith.  One senior citizen told me of a conversation with Aaron, which was closed with Aaron saying, “I will pray for you”.  Jeremy plays his trumpet in the praise band.  During the sermon he sits with me.  This is no play-acting, but real discipleship is lived out in their lives.

Three weeks ago I wrenched my back at the lumbar 5 and 6.  This time was the worst pain I have ever felt.  I got meds for pain and still went to the hospital for relief.

I became depressed.  Every move hurt.  Muscles spasms kept relief at bay.

I suffered through our Loami Church breakfast, only to have a slight mishap on the way to the platform.  A church member helped and moved a chair to the center of the platform from which I led the service.  After my concluding blessing, a member gathered everyone to the front and then “laid hands” on me, with voice supplications for healing.  What a moment!

So I went straight home, and with an hour to kill, I read your blogs.

Your description of grief over our brother Bill, and the consolation offered by your granddaughter really overwhelmed me.  All I have experienced in the last month was felt in that verbal visual of a child holding you until you feel better.

We wonder why we suffer, and theology gives me the answer.  The difference between being a victim or a victor is defined in the moments you and I have shared on this page.  Somewhere in the experience is an awareness of LOVE, ill-defined by language, theology, or any human description.  But it is made sharp by faith: we have seen the face of God.
Donald Peck
The Lynch Pin


  1. Suffering is never fun, but i suppose it makes you thankful for what you have. After all my issues I couldn't imagine hell being much worse, well I could with my brain, but yeah haha

    1. I miss my parents and siblings. But now I have the family of our own creation. We are blessed.

  2. This made me miss the family I no longer have. I am glad for you ~ that you have a brother like Don.

    1. Don is a wonderful man, a wonderful father and grandfather. His life blessed mine.

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes, and then I went back to your other post where your granddaughter comforted you, and tears filled my eyes again. Even though we know death is inevitable, the pain of losing someone we love cuts deeply, and never entirely goes away. But the love and support we get from family... and friends... can be such an overwhelming blessing, it's like an embrace from God.

  4. This was beautifully written Susan. Sounds like you have an amazing brother, and a very grown-up, and caring granddaughter. I'm sorry that you lost your other brother at such a young age.


  5. Family holding on to each other in the good and hard times is what it is all about.

    This is a beautiful and oh, so touching post, Susan.

  6. Both of these posts filled my heart and made my eyes leak. I am so glad that you and your family are so filled with love.

  7. Very emotional post, Susan. It's good to believe in something bigger and stronger than us, that's for sure. Thank you for sharing such a tender moment in your life. I enjoyed reading this through and through.

  8. This is a very touching post. I'm glad to hear that your family is so close.

  9. Beautiful. I miss my folks and I have only one sibling, my older sister. If something were to happen to her I'd be lost, very lost for a long, long time.

  10. Beautiful post, Susan. Thank you for sharing your brother's words with us. Yes, he's a lynch pin and it sounds like his son Aaron is following in his steps. And the comfort your little granddaughter gave you, especially sweet. I love how it touched your brother, too. You have a wonderful family.

    I, too, am one of five siblings, but there are three girls and two boys. Reading about the loss of your siblings really touched me because I haven't lost a sibling or a parent, yet just the thought is painful, and I know one day I'll have to face it. Reading posts like yours will stay with me and give me strength when I have to confront death. This is yet another reminder for me that each day is a gift.

  11. Oh, the strength that manifests itself through adversity. What a wonderful man, your brother. What a wonderful family! Thank you for sharing them with us!


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