Reflections of a poet, preacher, and contemplative activist

A Room Remembered

Nooksack, Washington parsonage

Nooksack, Washington parsonage

A Room Remembered

Granddad’s study
is a modest room
off the living room
in the two-story Nooksack parsonage,
a half block from the wooden country church
where he preaches every Sunday morning.

Its scents fill the air
and remain with me to this day –
wood paneling,
serious books,
mimeograph ink and paper.

In this room every Saturday my granddad copies bulletins
on an aging mimeograph for the next day’s worship service.

At the tender age of five
I am his able assistant.

We watch as sheets of paper fly rhythmically through the machine
and are caught in a tray on the other side.
Then he and I fold the bulletins,
careful to find the middle of each one,
and I am again swept up
in my imaginings of being him.

I imagine standing before a congregation someday,
with a stain-glassed Jesus holding a lamb tenderly in his arms
on the wall behind the pulpit,
and daring to tell the truth about God’s ways in the world.

I am no mere admirer gazing upon my granddad’s noble calling.
No, I love him with eager childlike devotion –
my heart full of wanting to be like him.

Words (c) 2004 Mark Lloyd Richardson

My Granddad, the Rev. Norval Sweet Richardson

My Granddad, the Rev. Norval Sweet Richardson

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  1. I stepped inside
    this golden moment
    I remember
    desire is
    de Sire
    “of God”

  2. Lor

    Oh, I just love this, Mark! I can visualize it all, from the smells to the sights. Thanks for sharing your granddad with us.

    • I’m happy to share my granddad with everyone. I’ll probably share some more in the future. Thanks, Lori.

  3. Cheryl

    Love it. I have those same memories except for the standing before a congregation part.

    • Instead you stand before a classroom or a lecture hall! Thanks, Cheryl.

  4. Sandy Simpson

    Habits and common moments of everyday living become treasures over time. Thank God for the ability to hold these in our hearts and minds. The senses recall and it is as if we are still there.

  5. A beautiful tribute to your grandfather, Mark–but your best tribute is, of course, your having followed in his pastoral footsteps! What a blessing you are.

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