Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thinking about My Dad

This blog has been a place where ideas ramble around. It's a place where thoughts and observations that are not preachable get airing and feedback. I have not put too many boundaries on this blog other than not breaching confidentiality or professional propriety (like current staff topics or personnel issues). The life of my family has pretty much stayed off the blog to allow them the privacy to live their lives without others "being in the know" about details in their lives.
But today I'm thinking about my Dad, Norbert Johnson. He's pretty sick in Minneapolis. My brother Tim is maintain a vigil with him till morning. At 83 he has suffered some health set-backs that snowballed and life is very fragile and tenuous right now. I've seen this before as a pastor with church families and friends. I know what Psalms bring comfort and I really try to be fully present without meddling when families are in this place.
And it's silly and redundant saying, but it's so different when you are on the other side of the bed. It's like a toothache that just pounds away while on the outside you look fine. In gap moments, my mind flies to the realm of "what if's" and "what next". Instead of free-time thinking, he is there. I can envision him in his room.
My sister and I fly to Minneapolis on Tuesday for family duty and decisions. The church I serve is totally surrounding me with love and support, telling me "Go, be with your folks!."
One of the unexpected consequences of this illness is my reflection on how my dad has shaped and formed me as both a man and Christian and as a pastor. In seminary some of my colleagues who came from non-believing families were envious of my access to such pastoral wealth. I would just call Dad and ask "What would you do in the case of _______?" And his advice was always golden because he practiced such a high standard of churchmanship. For 28 years I've had a professional life-line always available to me to securely banter about ideas and thoughts. I'm a lucky guy.


At 10:43 AM , Blogger Andrew Stonina said...

Your friends and family here in Stephenson are praying for you and your family.

At 3:42 PM , Blogger Katie said...

You are all in my prayers. Please keep us updated as to how your dad is doing.


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