I don't often write about my parishioners, for a whole host of reasons. Their privacy, my pastoral responsibilities, etc. But please keep Darwin in your prayers. Everything I'm about to reveal is common knowledge. Last Monday, as I was about to leave for Pacific School of Religion's Earl Lectures, I stopped by to visit him in the hospital, as he'd recently broken his hip. To put it clearly and concisely, it was not good. For some time, my trip was questionable. After several hours with Darwin and his family, time of prayer with him and them, we decided it would be okay for me to go. I expected them to call me on Tuesday at the latest with the sad news of his death.
But by late Wednesday, still no word. I learned on Thursday at he had been released from the hospital; the word was that he'd apparently rallied enough to go back to the nursing home.
Today I went to see him; he is non-responsive but still alive. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
I also want to give a shout-out to Southwest Airlines. When I called to say I'd miss my flight and figure out my options, I learned that I didn't have to cancel my reservation or change my plans until I knew better what my plans would be. If I arrived at the airport at least 2 hours before the last flight left, there would be no charge and I could fly standby. The woman also checked and made sure that the later flights had room; "they're all wide open," she said cheerfully. "You should be with your parishioner." I did not actually make the 2 hour window, but Southwest still did not charge me for the switch. I even got an "A" seating. Plus, everyone with Southwest was so friendly and cheerful on all the flights that it was practically a pleasure to fly again.