Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

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.


Doom said...

God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, they are full of grace, chock full. But why the wonder of it? There is only one sin that grace cannot account for. It is up to us to ask, and continue to ask for, that grace. It is freely given.

By the way, it seems we both needed a mentor, and got one when we did... good ones. The world, at rare moments, in little and big ways, offers a glimpse of the divine, the wonderful, the gracious, in men, in women, and sometimes in kids too.

Michael W said...

In my corner it was A.H. Bohls: Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Bastrop, Texas. He wss s soft spoken gentleman who got me, my little sister and five other teenage angst caaes through Confirmation class. Incredibly patient, tolerant, mildly humorous and never too busy to spend some time talking with a young parishioner who had a Serious Question or two. He lived long enough to help squeeze my dying father through the Pearly Gates, as well as meeting my son (a second generation altar boy) at the same age I was when I first went under his wing.

When it comes to religious faith and spiritual maturity, a lot of people simply talk the talk. Pastor Bohls walked the walk, and in God's footsteps no less!

The Aardvark said...

"God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, they are full of grace, chock full. But why the wonder of it?"

If this is in reference to:

"I pray that Jesus is more gracious than many religious out there give Him credit for."

there are religious folk quite intent on labels and the-sign-above-the-door, who have a quite limited understanding of grace, whose tabernacles are not as wide as God's grace may allow! (I suspect that C.S. Lewis is right in his estimate that God views what we do as better than we mean it.) If you don't measure up to their label, then you are not "in". God's ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. We must obey not only His commands, but also bow the knee to His Grace.

Doom said...

Gotcha. The shats who have decided they are worthy to judge. That shoe fits sometimes, if not really religiously. I try to separate hate for the sin from hate for the sinner, but sometimes? What do you say to the Stalinists, nihilists, functional muslims (the moderates are either liars or don't actually believe all that much) and such of the world sometimes?

I'm learning to love them, though if they stir up any trouble in my a.o., I will dust them just the same. Or die trying. See, there I go again. But I don't worry about sins, save when someone tries to... hold them as non-sins... like gays who try to have 'gay-friendly' churches. Be gay, I suppose, if that is what you are, but don't try to pretend it's not a sin. Same with living in sin, hetero. I always knew that was wrong.

Blathering again. Later.