A simple letter

Pied Piper

Dear Russell,

Thank you.  For so many things – – thank you.  Thank you for opening my mind and heart to a difference that perplexes me.  Thank you for your contagious love of physics.  Thank you for my early Christmas gift – – The Science of Interstellar, by Kip Thorne.  My boys, the oldest in particular, are drooling over it.  Thank you for writing over the last two weeks when I couldn’t.  Thank you for being a new and durable friend.

As I’ve implied here and communicated offline this has been a challenging season at work.  All of the daylight hours have been dedicated to my job in a push to Christmas holiday.  It’s not that I have less time.  The direction of the arrow hasn’t changed and neither has the sweep of the second hand.  It’s just that when one responsibility swells, others must ebb.  When work responsibilities rise, my classic and persistent error has been to pull back from my family.  Thankfully, age and wisdom are dampening my foolishness and my family has forgiven me.  Now when work rises, I double down on my efforts towards them and jettison other responsibilities for a season – – even to the church, even to my friends here and in flatland.  Anything left at the end of 16 (one 18) hour days goes to them.  At the end of an 18 hour day all are asleep and nothing is left.  That accounting had me leaving at 0600 and returning at 0030.  The alarm startles me later in the morning – – I pack and take a boy to practice.  I get home the same night and only want to watch The Middle and The Goldbergs with them.  And that’s what we did.  Lazy.  Unashamed.  Slouched on the couch with too much popcorn.  Useful in the lives of those who love, trust, and need me most.

I read your posts on the stairs while ascending, descending, and sometimes standing in the landing, seeking understanding. That would sound so much cooler with my phat faux-gold chain.  Bear with me.  Fatigue makes me cheesier than usual.

I loved your post on Interstellar.  I would enjoy seeing the movie again with you (IMAX) since we both saw it separately.  I think you write most passionately about science and the wonder of the universe.  Your response to the 4th smaller bite and Romans 1:1-7 was harder.  I honestly had a difficult time reading my own words in quotes.  That’s the problem with words, isn’t it?  You can’t take them back.  Why did I presume on your philosophy?  Why not ask?  Dumb.  Well – – friends tolerate dumb.  Those who don’t find themselves friendless.  Will we ever reconcile our views of scripture and life?  Maybe not.  That’s okay.  I’m starting to think that is the point.  It is really hard for me to get past my desire to convince.  I’m a pretty persuasive person by nature, nurture, or both.  I was always the one to call for the poker game when we really should have been studying.  The pied piper of distraction.

Just 500 words to tell you and our readers that I have not forgotten you.  I’m so glad that we have a breakfast scheduled.  What am I thinking after finishing 12 hours with Sean Carroll’s The Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time?  What am I thinking after finishing Rebecca Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex?  I have so much to say!  From Carroll – – I think that a creator is a reasonable hypothesis to explain why the universe began with low entropy.  As reasonable as the multiverse, which I thankfully understand better now.  From Goldstein – – could Plato’s work survive the critical approach that you bring to the New Testament?

Let’s keep going.  I’ve said many times that this could take decades.  In truth, I’m not a patient man.  That was probably more for me than you.  You are a patient man and I admire it.  Until we meet in person, blessings.  I know that you commented on several posts and I’ll likely respond to the comments next.

For those who read what we write – – my hope for you is that you find strength in a friendship that stresses the metal of your soul.

Your friend,




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