-Rev Melissa Fain-
To all the families of those who have recently passed away, I am so heartbroken for you. You deserve a funeral. You deserve your loved ones friends and family to give hugs and look you in the eye when they tell you they will be missed. It is not fair that you must process without all of them sitting next you; lamenting with you.
Damn this virus. Damn how it has made our lamentations more difficult. It's not fair, and I'm going to push into that invisible cruelty. "How do we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?"
Roger was relentless.
Everyone that I've ever met has given me something. They're little nuggets that I can either fertilize or polish.Some haven't even realized what they've given. me something, because I've quietly taken their connection, torn it apart, and used to it to grow something else.
With my descriptive language, my use of illustration, Roger and I didn't always get one another. I play with the written word, while he built with them. He thought very highly of education. He used it in everything he did, from preach, to tweet, to try to save the church.
That's right, he tried to save the Church. All of us have failed so far. All of us have made attempts and those attempts have backfired, but Roger was relentless. He kept trying. He kept pushing. He wanted people to know what they didn't know, and he wanted to know it all, even though he already knew- that was impossible. As I watched minister after minister give up or give in, he kept going. He kept trying. He kept fighting.
What can never be.
I believed some day he'd say he knew me, and was part of my theological formation. Partly, like the Church, he wanted to save me, and he wanted to save me by putting me somewhere where I could save something too. Partly, I believe he saw something in me. Something worthy of redemption.
I believed he wanted to be part of what I was, and what God called me to be. I ended up not playing by his rules, and we parted ways, but I still believed he waited. Now he's gone. The man who just kept trying has left a legacy in the people he's left behind. We have a mandate to be better, to do better, to rise above our mediocrity. We have a call to go and do. Roger won't be part of my story if there's ever a point I break through the noise, but I can say it for him. Roger was part of my story, and I'm grateful for his inclusion.