I love to read. My reading interests are wide and varied. But even when I am engrossed in a particularly good book, I still find the need to stop after a series of chapters and take a few moments to absorb the material. Bookmarks are a good thing.
2013 is nearly over. Quite frankly I am ready for the year to come to an end. I would like to close the chapter entitled "2013" and after a very brief bookmarking open a new chapter. This year has been a challenge. There has been a lot of sadness.
Early this year I watched friends face life threatening illnesses. In March, one of my mentors died. And then May rolled around. I had no idea how much a tornado could change life in a community. The tornado shaped our very understanding of community. During the immediate aftermath of the storm some friends from a nearby city lost their infant son. Officiating at a funeral for a baby is an indescribable responsibility.
We hoped for a better month when June arrived. But at the end of that month, Sgt. Lance McLean with The Hood County Sheriffs Office was shot and killed as he answered a call for help. Officer Chad Davis with The Granbury Police Department continues to recuperate from injuries he sustained in a related incident with the same perpetrator. After almost 24 years of service as a law enforcement chaplain, I officiated at my first line of duty death funeral. I am not sure how to describe the weight of responsibility I felt.
2013 is nearly over. I am fully aware a new year will bring a different set of challenges. I am just ready for a new chapter. But I need to take a few moments to absorb the events of the chapter that is about to close. But before I place the bookmark, I need to reflect on what else has occurred.
I made new friends this year. This has been a year of new friendship actually. Casual acquaintances are becoming really good friends. I have gotten to spend time with some great people that I have grown to value. Shared tragedies have brought us together. After a brief bookmarking, I hope the new chapter is characterized by depth. I am looking forward to new friendships growing as we embark on new challenges together. But all of us need to recognize for now that bookmarks are a good thing.