Denver days

It is hard to remember when I last wrote. Life has a way of passing by the windows of my soul when I am holed up, and I have certainly been holed up the last week or so. Denver is a beautiful place, frighteningly beautiful.

My wife and I took some time last Friday and headed up to Boulder for the afternoon. After living at a height of 5,280 feet for two weeks we decided that we were acclimated enough to attempt a day hike. Our effort was… painful.

Our neighbor mentioned that the Flat Irons were an easy hike outside of Boulder and beautiful to boot. We decided that would be the kind of hike we could handle. We were wrong. About 100 yards into the hike my lungs began to burn, my heart was pounding in my chest and my thighs were killing me. I guess I should appreciate the opportunity to hike, but it hurt and the only thing I appreciated at the moment was a rest another hundreds up the trail.

As the hike progressed and we entered a tree lined area, the shade cooled our sun beaten heads and enabled us to keep moving for another two or so miles. We never made it to the Flat Irons. Our hike ended when our boots began to rub blisters on the backs of our feet. The area was beautiful and we look forward to returning for another attempt soon.

The hardest part about moving here has been the loneliness. We have said “hi” to the neighbors, visited a neat little church, and spent the better parts of most days walking our neighborhood, but we still have no one to call “friend.” That part is slow going because we have no routine outside of our domain. We have been together 24/7 for almost a month now, and as much as I love my wife, we do need a break now and again.

The executive presbyter in Denver has mentioned a very small rural congregation that he would like for me think about preaching to in the future. Initially, I jumped at the opportunity to preach again and get out of the house. However, the more I begin to think about it, the more I fear the opportunity. The congregation is currently in conflict due to the circumstances around their current pastor leaving.

What do I have to offer these conflicted people?

I know this is not about me. I know this has nothing to do with my skills, my ministry, whatever. There is little, in the realm of ministry, that concerns me, but then again it has everything to do with me as well. Ministry is already a lonely passion, but to be placed in a situation where the people are conflicted, where half of the people will instantly look upon me with suspicion is to be placed in the lion’s den wearing gazelle flavored cologne.

The more I look behind the fear, the more I see the isolation and depression of moving lurking in the shadows in my mind. The shell that houses my mind seems dark and hollow at the moment. The friends and colleagues that used to fill the voids seem distant, though their echoes are always present. There is no one to have lunch with here, no one to play golf with, no one to relate back to me the messages that keep me sane, keep me real. My wife can be good for that, but she is dealing with her own demons at the moment…

At some point I must wake up from the fog that has clouded my life and embrace the world around me. It will happen at some point, I am just impatient…

grace and peace



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