Perhaps you agree with me that life is not a laughing matter right now. Filling a gas tank cost me $72.00, a grocery bill for one person cost as much as I once paid to feed six young children and two adults. You know the litany of woes I could mention, so I won’t. I write to tell you a ‘Stepheny-story’ that assures me that thankfully, God, has not lost his sense of humor.
The beginning of the story starts like this….St. Andrews Episcopal Church is thinking about creating a Labyrinth. My son-in-law, George Greer, Rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, asked me to write an article for the church newsletter about walking the Labyrinth as part of a spiritual discipline. He knew I’d had walked them in England, in France, at The National Cathedral in D.C, in friend’s gardens, at the Cathedral in Atlanta and in local churches who have laid down a large cloth on which the Labyrinth has been painted for their congregations and visitors to come and make a kind of pilgrimage. Without further explanation of a Labyrinth’s history and the spirituality of walking one, I want to get to the part of the story where God made me laugh. I hope it will give you a good laugh too.
At 2:00AM or thereafter, I finished the copy for the article and sent it off to the wrong e-mail address for St. Andrews. Next morning when I checked, the copy and photos had not arrived. After several tries, the material finally made it to the church office. At the bottom of my e-mails I have my name and the links to this blog and podcast, (which I am on break from.) I received an e-mail, which I will copy and paste. It is a lovely note and one I’m not sure many PRESIDING BISHOPS would have bothered to write after receiving the copy meant for Rocky Mount’s St. Andrews.
It is obvious that not only did the Bishop read the Labyrinth copy but clicked on the blog link to find out who I might be. The joke God played on me was this: He picked the blog about Andre Knight. Therefore, you will see his name in the lovely e-mail. Rocky Mount gets enough bad publicity over Mr. Knight’s skullduggery. Now in a far off place called Alabama, the Presiding Bishop knows about him too. I’m glad to have his complimentary word, but as I titled this blog…Andre Knight can’t catch a break. For me, The Bishop’s note was as good as it gets, don’t you think? Don’t tell him that I often think about having a temper tantrum in the middle of Main Street.
Dear Ms. Houghtlin:
Thank you for sharing the ‘Labyrinth Walk’ with me. I enjoyed reading it very much and also the comments on your own page regarding the lack of gentlemanly decorum of Mr. Knight on the City Council at Rocky Mount. Having said that, I believe I should inform you that we are likely not the same St. Andrews that you had in mind when posting – I may be mistaken. We are St. Andrews Anglican Church (my home church) in southern Alabama. We are not associated with the Episcopal Church and are strictly Reformational. But I did, indeed, enjoy all that I read of your writings. You have a loving heart and an amazing erudition in your observations. Thank you and God bless you.
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D. Presiding Bishop Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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