In Uncategorized on August 18, 2005 at 12:13 pm


yesterday, in the midst of categorizing a stack of books, i stumbled across the reprint edition of the faces of Jesus by frederick buechner. after reading the copy on the front jacket flap i flipped the pages en masse so that i could see if there was an author photo featured on the back.

fortunately there was a photo. upon seeing it i was almost undone. buechner has always been incredibly photogenic, as the covers of his little autobiographies attest, but this photo pierced me so deeply that i almost wept. in this photograph, buechner looks old and bemused. his h-frame mouth is open just enough to offer a sympathetic smile and his eyes bear witness to a lifetime full of tightly clinched, discerning squints that were occasionally overwhelmed by wide-eyed wonder. as i scrutinized uncle freddy’s liver spots and last wisps of hair, i realized how grateful i am that my life has overlapped with this liberal, literary prophet and how utterly afraid i am of the day that he finally departs.

so many of uncle freddy’s words have opened my heart to the Word and his constant reminders to “listen to your life” have helped me salvage a few remnants of sense from this shipwrecked, chaotic world. as odd as it sounds, i hold him as close as i hold family and, as pagan as it sounds, i pray that when he passes God will grant me a portion of his spirit.

is there an author that simultaneously helps hold you together and enables you to hold out hope for the future? if so, i’d love to hear about it.


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