Over the years I was blessed: by Bruce's service as elder at the reason (BGCC) I made it through my graduate studies in Bowling Green; by book group discussions (incl. Chesterton, Bonhoeffer, Noll) from which ideas and details stay with me 18 years later; by grand spaghetti dinners hosted by Bruce's kind, creative wife Joan and him; by a generous letter of recommendation that influenced my getting my job as teacher and administrator at Gordon; by exchanges of movie reviews; by his son Justin, who was my wonderful colleague last year; and by Bruce's (perhaps unaware) prompt to begin studying and writing about a topic I've immersed myself in for nearly 20 years -- death and public mourning.
One special evening at Bowling Green Covenant Church in the late 1990s, members presented and shared works of C.S. Lewis in a pastiche of readings, music, and dramatic performance. At Bruce's encouragement, I read, emotionally, from A Grief Observed. Much of this work of Lewis is painful and angry and true to the anguish and confusion of the processes of grief for a person with faith. "Yelling," Lewis describes his expressions of doubt and blame at one point. This, for me, is a glimpse of hope and courage in genuine darkness; it is memorial.
Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it. Praise in due order; of Him as the giver, of her [Lewis' beloved] as the gift. Don’t we in praise somehow enjoy what we praise, however far we are from it?Thank God for Bruce and his family, immediate and far-reaching through his friendship, words, and gifts.
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