Tag Archive: Sunday school


At some point in my elementary youth, I had a three piece suit. The vest was reversible with two different colors, red and blue as I recall. I very seldom wore the vest on the red side of my own accord. It was around the latter seasons of Man from U.N.C.L.E. We went to a large church with several floors and an elevator.

I have always been able to carry on several trains of thought simultaneously. That’s why I stutter. My mouth doesn’t know which train of thought I want to vocalize. Between Sunday school and the church service, and after church while the grownups talked, kids had relative free time. And I was off on my adventures.

I didn’t really consider myself as Napoleon Solo or Illya Kuryakin. I was like a third agent. A secret part of the team as it were. It was easy to give the impression that I was successfully moving through crowds incognito. Very few of the adults knew me and they wouldn’t have given me another thought past “whose son is that ?”

I would slink onto the elevator – waiting to jump in just before the doors closed. Then I would slink from the elevator to the bathroom in the basement. I could slink with the best of them. Reaching the bathroom I whipped off my coat, quickly reversed my vest, and voilá, instant disguise. I had a pen – actually I had a lot of pens. Both of my aunts on my Dad’s side were elementary school teachers. They would give me a box full of the pens and fillers they had collected through the year. This particular pen looked cool when it was “reversed,” but only had imaginary functionality. It was how I contacted my fellow agents.

Having let the agents know my position and my plan I would slink out the bathroom and up the stairs (never take the same method of travel for the return trip). Then I would slink through the crowd (what did I tell you) popping up by my parents – and again, voilá – I was Dan Roark again. Amazingly enough, no one noticed the difference.

When we got back home I would go off and read a Hardy Boys mystery while planning my mission for the next Sunday. Basking in the glow of a mission accomplished.

Until we slink again….

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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Grief and the Presence of God is a Bible study using the book of Job with observations from C.S. Lewis and my own experiences. Originally written for use in a Sunday school, I recently revised it. The study is in three parts, with study questions in the back for each lesson.

Lesson one, Grief and It’s Symptoms, delves into the symptoms and resulting effects of the grieving process. The Book of Job certainly has a lot to say about grief and it’s effects. As I mention in the study, Job is probably the only person in the history of the world – with the exception of Jesus (and he knew what his mission was) – who can truthfully tell someone that they do not know how he feels.

Lesson two, Meanwhile, Where is God?, discusses what is arguably the most destructive symptom of grief – when you think God is not around when you need him. When one is grieving, being told that the departed loved one is in God’s hands is little comfort when one considers that they were in God’s hands even as they were on the road to death. It is even more disconcerting if the death was slow and painful.

Lesson three, Alone into the Alone, is concerned with Lewis’ Cosmic Sadist theory and what I consider to be the myth of closure. Whether you agree or disagree with Lewis’ theory or my own theory of closure, you will come to your own conclusion and perhaps progress further in your spiritual journey. After which you will hopefully be better equipped to face times of grief in the future.

Grief and the Presence of God is available in the bookstore at www.danroark.com.

Peace be with you.

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