april 2007

mark mclean
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
This will be in the form of a letter to Mark so I can provide it to him for his retirement party. But since I don’t want to start a letter that I will not get to finish on the same machine and do not want to email the unfinished letter around then retrieve it and work on it on another computer, I will put it in my blog.

Anyway, it seems fitting to say all these nice things in public.

Dear Mark,

I remember the first few days I was charged with teaching Intro to Ethics at Evangel in the spring of 2003. Your office was kitty-corner to mine. My office had the refrigerator and the microwave in it. I think you said that microwave, which now resides in the shiny new Theology department, used to be yours. It has heated dozens of cups of your tea and mine, and when I got lucky ours.

Shortly after that January semester started, you invited me into your demesne for a cup of green tea. Though I know the protocol you’ve mastered for making tea is little like the Japanese tea ceremony, it became for me a moment sheltered from the storm of uncertainties that clouded my sky then. Now in my fifth year at Evangel, my last in the forseeable future, most of those uncertainties have dissipated. I am entertaining a new batch as I write. But that green tea in your cozy nook, the bit of chocolate now and again and the engaging conversation set the tone for my short but sweet moment at Evangel. That tone and evenhanded temperament of yours created a place of grace for me.

I’m hoping now that I’ve said all these things that I can still come over to your house and watch Stargate.


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