I had just finished watching Jeff Carr's first televised broadcast on 971. There he was, sitting so calmly in his chair. So relaxed, leaning back, the epitome of reassurance and openness. He had told us a little bit about his family, (his grandparents had, at one time lived in a house at Massanetta Springs), his education (he met his wife, Wendy in high school) his children (Gabe and Nate) and listed his qualified justification for the position of " sheltering shepherd " of Sunnyside. He and word of COVID-19 on our campus had arrived at approximately the same time.
Truth to tell, this was not my first meeting with Jeff. At an earlier time, while he was working for Trinity Presbyterian Church, he had knocked, unannounced on the door of my apartment. We introduced ourselves, I welcomed him in and seated him in one of my best chairs and began our conversation.
My first impression was, he has PRESENCE, a quality of poise, positivity and peace. None of the following was what he “told me“ because I don't remember exactly what he said. It couldn't have been the manner in which he spoke, because there was nothing unusual about it, no lisp, no stutter, no accent that I could place, nothing remarkable. He was neither judgmental nor condescending and he was not "killing” me with kindness. There was no overwhelming sentimentality no infringement into my space.
For the next 40 minutes or so we chatted. There was bantering, jocularity and good-will. Essentially, there was merely the beginning of getting to know one another with pleasantries. At the end of the visit, we shook hands and parted with the ordinary good-bye, hope to see you soon.
So what was it that had caused me to recall his visit with a smile? Whence came the memory bordering on a chuckle. I seemed to feel buoyed up, in a light mood, secure. I felt comfortable, at ease with myself and the world. It appeared that his entire attention was focused on being right here and right now. Seeming to have nothing else in mind, it was not necessary for him to “be right back". Serenity reigned. Although he had not said a prayer over me, I felt I had been blessed.
I am grateful for the visit and for the transparent, televised introduction. I noticed that the story Jeff read aloud, failed to finish. It remains for the reader, joining with Jeff, to create a happy ending for the future. May it be so.
Two souls alas are dwelling in my breast And each is fain to leave its brother The one, fast clinging to the world adheres with clutching organs, in love's sturdy lusts; The other strongly lifts itself from dust to yonder high ancestral spheres. -- Faust I, Sc. 2, Priest Translations