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A friend of mine  in (you guessed it), Tanzania often says:  “God is in the mess.”   Well, HE/SHE was in the mess today.

I had an appointment at 11 o’clock this morning in Fayetteville, N.C.  I arrived at 10:4o and the door to the office was locked.   Jessie had gone with me to do some shopping for Africa and had gone off with my car and her phone was on the fritz.  I checked my calendar thinking perhaps I had the wrong date.  Nope ~  11:00 on Tuesday, 23 June.

The next door neighbor came out to her car and I mentioned that I had an appointment but didn’t think anyone was home.  She offered to call and came back saying they had to be there because the phone was busy and then she came over to the deck and introduced herself.  When I told her my name she said:  “Any kin to Earl Parks Bandy?” Earl Parks was my husband’s brother.  She spoke of his gift for taking anything, ANYTHING and making something beautiful out of it, but then she asked me if I knew anything about different bible translations being a great lover of the KJV and not wanting any “modern” translations that might conflict with her beliefs.  I told  her what we use in the Episcopal Church and recommended some other translations as well.

She abruptly changed the subject and asked me what I thought of same-sex blessings.  Oh, my gosh, I thought ~ this subject that has deeply divided the church.  I took a deep breath feeling she was probably very much a fundamentalist and tried to temper my rather liberal views but finally told her that I felt that the church should bless couples, regardless of their sexual orientation if they were in a committed relationship.  Without warning she began to cry.  I mean, crocodile tears ran down her face.  “Oh, have my views offended you,” I asked.  She then said:  “My daughter is gay.”

In asking me to write the names of some translations  other than the KJV I wrote on the back of my Karimu business card and she asked what that was all about.  Without a blink of the eye she asked if she could make out a check to Karimu and she went back home to get her check book.    As I hugged the lady goodbye she said that we were supposed to have met today.  No one knew why the door was locked.  Perhaps God was in the mess.

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