Saturday, May 14, 2011

His Friends Call him Arch

His friends call him the Arch

Last night Kay and I went to the Tacoma Dome to see Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu speak, and were awed by his words. First let me set the stage. The show started with lots of acts by local performers, some inspirational, some less so, but all building a sense of excitement and expectation. Highlights were the Washington High School Step team and Quest Crew, the winners of Americas Best Dance Crew TV show challenge. The under-program speaker was Craig Kielburger, an international youth advocate who gave an inspired talk about how he came to found Free the Children, his organization that has built 650 schools and tons of other projects since he started it with 11 other 12 year olds after reading a newspaper article about a 12 year old in Afghanistan who was murdered for his stance for children’s rights. He asked Archbishop Tutu how he should address him, and was told, “My friends just call me “Arch.”

Archbishop Tutu’s talk, appropriately was more like a sermon than a speech. He delivered it with humor, humility and incredible power. His premise was that God created all of earth without any help from man, but since man came to earth he has worked through humans to make things happen. He gave examples of Moses and the Virgin Mary as two people he asked for help who said, “Yes.”

He gave examples of seemingly small actions, like Rosa Parks, “Sitting in a bus and refusing to move,” as actions by humans to further God’s plans. He called on all of us to listen for God’s call, and to say yes. As Kielburger said about a conversation with Tutu, after Kielburger told Archbishop Tutu that he had stopped reading the paper to avoid reading about all the terror and hate in the world, Tutu admonished him as, “College boy” and suggested he see all these as opportunities from God for human intervention for positive change.

After each vignette the Archbishop described, Moses, Mary and many current stories, he curled his hands, smiled impishly, and whispered “yes” to the joy he felt about humans answering yes to God’s call to action.

I hope to keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to answer yes to God’s calls even more after last night.

Changing subjects, on the home front Kay continues to do well. Her CA-125 remains below 10, and the PARP inhibitor therapy continues to go uneventfully. She is taking next week as a brief holiday off the treatments and we are going to New York City for fun together. You may recall that Kay and I had our courtship largely in NYC and at West Point, NY, and have lots of fond memories to enjoy there.

Jean is doing great at Ernest and Young, and Brett has graduation from Seattle University June 10th, so we have a busy month ahead. My Dad is visiting for Brett’s graduation as is Kay’s brother Keith.