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Updated: Jul 30, 2023

This morning is interesting with our two grandkids in the house now for three days. That changes the nature of the night and the sequence of each morning routine. As well, the pup which we also share when the daughter is away, came to the bedside which I had restlessly shared with John Luther, whimpering way before sunrise.

After taking out the dog and while downing a third cup of coffee, I began my scripture read, closing out the book of Job. Ironically, the next to last chapter describes some prehistoric fire-breathing behemeth.

Why would I mention that, my next read was for pleasure, although so is scripture both pleasure and spiritual discipline. The more secular book had been mentioned by a young millennial so much like myself at that age that I could swear we share some genetic makeup downline.

The book, Colter, by Rick Bass is about a man's relationship with a hunting dog (note exerpt in photo above), that animal truly man's best friend. Yet this one, quite smaller than mentioned in Job, and a trained working beast.

The author quickly snatched my heart as he expressed the deep attachments, addictions, the word he used to describe the emotions of a hunter and his hounds. It had been some time since my boyhood experiences had been made so alive.

Then something dawned on me, the reality that my grandson will likely never experience such gratification apart from a short walk with leased dog around a suburban cul-de-sac, such as I had made earlier.

Yes, quite different than the relationships I once knew as a boy with a lead dog and a pack of hounds, the thrill of the collective bay that would soon sound when their sacred prey is flushed. The prey, called sacred out of respect for nature, though it became fair game once flushed from its place of hiding. Such is this dying sport, no pun intended.

Just as my grandson will likely never experience a hunt with cousins and great uncles in woods that surround the relatives' farmland, likely as well, will they never experience church as I have known it.

That experience seems long to have dissipated, at least what I had known growing up in a Pentecostal environment. One where an entire congregation gathers around the base of the stage like platform at the front of a church in an area known as the altar. Each in their own way, with anticipation beseeches God on behalf of themselves, their loved ones and the world.

It was known as praying through, also a sacred, and eagerly awaited at the end of each sermon, once unbelievers were given a chance to come forward for a prayer of salvation.

Why the anticipation, it was the hope that once again each might witness the occasional manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit or the miracle that would often happen during that prayer time, as well as the testimonies later shared by those for whom prayer was offered.

Oh, I am sure there are various residuals of such practices still in place in some small churches, but more and more, as scarce as the sound of a pack of hounds in some distant field or covey of quail in suburbia!

Now you know the thoughts that float through my head as I read, especially as the sounds of early morning chatter drift from the bedroom where by two grandchildren play, knowing the mystical and mythical realities that "progress and education" will likely rob them of!

Best I be more active, more involved both in the church and the marketplace, with a hope that the change surely occurring, both in society and in the institutional church will lead us to a higher place, one still unknown to this aging and nostalgic boomer!

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