This is my last night in Cincinnati Ohio--I move back to San Jose California in the morning, after a year of commuting to and from there for work. The house is all packed, and I am engulfed in boxes, sterility, and silence. I cannot sleep--a year's work of experience is rushing around in my heart, causing me to ponder the strange patterns of my life.
It was one of the strangest years of my life--and, at the same time, one of the best and the most difficult ones.
I wrote 800 pages for the ThinkTank this year--out of the 1,200 pages that it has now.
I had a death in my immediate family--with all the issues that death raises to us pre-mortem mortals..
I had one of my closest friends--someone I care an incredible amount for--check herself into a psychiatric ward, to keep from 'doing anything foolish,' and I had a very close loved one attempt suicide. I have been personally and deeply involved in their lives for decades--it was quite a challenge for me to place these events in some kind of context.
My being stationed in Ohio changed overnight--without any notice. This was quite a shock to me.
I developed a 'special friendship' for a couple of months, with all the exhilaration and loss-of-perspective that goes with that(!), only to watch the leaven of fallenness in our personal histories mutate the experience into something pathological. I watched it vaporize somehow (or by Someone) in literally days--shocking us to uncomprehending numbness. And now, the vapors have condensed, and fall upon us with the quiet but steady patter of rain--but acid rain...killing the should-be fruit of fellowship and friendship, and producing instead the twisted thorns of latent bitterness, misunderstanding, accusation, and even a 'worm that dieth not'--pathogenic doubt.
I found a tumor in my foot that was 6cm by 2cm by 1cm in size--that I could not feel. It was surgically removed three weeks ago, and was benign, but had begun digging into my nerves. I have lost some feeling in my toes with its removal (and have been confined to this apartment for three solid weeks).
I barely avoided a liver biopsy in the spring. Certain "somethings" were too high--of unknown cause, but somehow tapered down after six months.
I wrote 12 articles for Client-Server Computing Magazine, and spoke in front of around 2-3 thousand people (business speaking).
I saw so many old, old nagging questions in my life answered this year--through facing them with honesty and trust.
I had more fun with my kids this year than in any previous year.
Your letters of encouragement and appreciation made me sometimes rise above my customary feeling of being simply a burden upon the universe (emotional baggage from those 'formative' years), better just hidden away and forgotten. (I KNOW better, of course, but my emotions always lag reality by years and/or decades.)
Your verbalized commitments to pray for me showed me that there were others outside my family who really care for me in a meaningful way.
I made deep friendships with some of you.
I gained a much greater sense of the rich and beautiful variety in the Body of Christ, and developed a healthy sense that I was not as 'alone' as I thought I was (there are OTHER such 'mutants' as I among His followers!)
I read SO MUCH STUFF, and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on obscure and arcane religious books!
All in all, I am recognizably a different person than I was a year ago. This year has produced the most significant and deep changes in my character, probably, that I have experienced at His hands within such a short time period.
As I go home to California, my kids will be moving back in with me. I will travel less, work at home more, and have all my books in one place (yes!). I will live in one time zone instead of two. I will live in one apartment instead of two. I will live in one climate instead of two. Hopefully, this should de-fragment my life somewhat. I should be able to build more regular friendships with my friends there, and be able to develop deeper relationships with the people in my church.
But, as always, I 'know not what the day will bring forth'. There are many unsettled issues about the return, about making the job work from there, and about balancing my time between local ministries and the Tank.
I know better (after walking with the Lord now some 25+ years) than to expect anything to 'settle down', but I DO KNOW that life under His leadership is anything but dull!
See you on the other side of the trip...
Glenn Miller, 11/1/96