Recently, one Sunday afternoon, I was sitting at my house doing nothing particularly productive. My mind wandered to thoughts of a previous bishop I’d had. The memory inspired me and I decided to write him a letter. So, I pulled out a pen and some paper, and in my barely legible handwriting began to express my gratitude for all that this bishop had done for me over the years.
This was the man that had given me my first calling…a calling I felt astonishingly unqualified for. He also took a chance when he gave me a key to the church for this calling, which I only mention because at that point in my life, my parents had deemed me not quite ready to have a key to their house due to the 4 previously lost keys to their garage, their two misplaced truck keys, and a badly bent and deformed shed key (which in my defense still worked if you jiggled it just right). But the trust he showed in me boosted my confidence. This was a man who always gave freely and generously to me whether it was going out to his ranch, inviting me to dinner or just taking a few minutes to talk with me whenever I needed.
So I finished my letter to this bishop, who had invested so much time, effort, and trust into a young and somewhat irresponsible kid. I completed the next step and sent the letter, and then didn’t give it a second thought.
A few weeks later that bishop showed up at my house. He had come by to express how much that handwritten letter meant to him; we talked for a few more minutes then he gave me a big hug and with all the sincerity in the world told me how much he loved me which, coming from this man, meant the world to me!
I share this story only to illustrate and express the impact that one man had, and can have on a young man trying to find his way in this increasingly difficult and changing world.
Saint Johns is full of many good men… my hope is that we all can find time to give direction, inspiration, and hope like this bishop did for me. There are many of this younger generation trying to find their place, and way in this world. They need the generosity of good men to help lead them in their journey.