Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I got someone on my mind whilst showering tonight: Rev. Charles Marshall Furlow III. Now, I do not hold with Titling and such, but that was who he was. He was chaplain at the Porter-Gaud school in Charleston, SC when I was a young troubled kid there for one year. I had grown up in an environment of amazing food and comfort, wherein I did precisely nothing right. I was sent to this ex-military boarding school, experienced freedom and camaraderie (as well as some hatefulness and spite), and did precisely nothing right. Except, of course, Social Adjustment. The school was ecstatic about that; my folks less-so my Cs, Ds and Fs. It was an expensive social club. Call it my rebellion.
Fr. Furlow was a mentor. He took time out of his busy-ness (he was also the soccer coach, having introduced the game to Charleston in 1959) to walk and talk with me, gently working the gears to see what made me tick. I believe that the goal of everyone there was to get me happy, because I wasn't. Not the superficial good-time happiness, but a deeper-seated one akin to joy. Summat was wrong. They (and he) wanted it to be right. I remember his Sunday chapel services, where Communion was to be had...Episcopalian, y'know. I have had a fondness for the form ever since. (Call me High Church Church of Christ!).
He passed away last summer. I wish I could have expressed my thanks for his friendship and help those decades ago. He was a good and kind minister of grace, who helped me on the road to that grace. May God bless His family with comfort. I pray that Jesus is more gracious than many religious out there give Him credit for. I believe that He is, and look forward to seeing my friend again.