We went through some tough years when we moved here in 1990, lots of dream bashing realities which finally drove me away from the denomination of my youth. The transition figure was a humble pastor named Bob, whose church provided a spiritual haven for us in our transition.
Sunday afternoon Bob and his family celebrated 15 years as a minister on ASU campus with a focus on the students from China, and many of the families from that old congregation provided a touchstone for me to see how God was working through pain to get me to see deeper and more wonderful truths about spirituality.
So many people from Bob's pastoral years have supported him in this mission because they knew he was the real thing, and, oddly enough, just a few years after he helped me that wonderful church kind of cast him adrift and imploded as well. Bob went through his own dark night of the soul to find a new direction.
Bob Thompson greeting people after the service.
Seeing those faces, aged by 15 years, yet still the same people, reminded me that our journey cannot be without struggle, and dissapointment. Faith gets tested, new directions have new blessings, and it is all hard at time, but worth it.