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Full of Surprises

The Rev. Patrick Ward
February 22, 2018

I forget now which two characters in which British novel are discussing a mutual friend behind his back, but their exchange goes something like this:

“One does wonder from time to time about old Dewhurst and his double life.”

“Are you suggesting that Dewhurst has a double life?”

“Well, he can’t simply be Dewhurst. He’d die of it.”

What seems like a put-down is actually an admission that old Dewhurst might just be more interesting than he appears to be. There’s a generosity and a humility, isn’t there, in ceding that the bland, absent friend may be just beyond one’s powers to assess? In ceding that there is a hidden richness in each of us? This generous admission is what we are talking about when we talk about reverence, and perhaps this is something we learn as we grow. When I came out to my parents at the age of twenty-one, their individual responses to my less-than-news were loving—but cut so sharply against my expectations that my own drama dimmed in the bright transfiguring light of who these two generous and nuanced people were turning out to be. We three began again.

For me, Lent does not begin with Ash Wednesday, but with the Sunday of the Transfiguration: the bright revealing light, the descent from Mount Tabor and the face of Jesus set towards Jerusalem. Peter, James and John have been shown something of a previously veiled richness and mystery. Everything will be different from here on in.

So what difference will these 40 days bring into your own life? Might any of the old assumptions you carry about a person, an issue, or your own life with God possibly be blinkering you to something not yet imagined? Which of these assumptions might you test? Which clasped expectations might you release? What hidden richness is waiting to surprise you?


See you in church –

The Reverend Patrick C. Ward

Associate Rector


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