Lois Kenagy is a woman at my church who is, as you can see, getting along in years. Her husband passed away recently, she's grown forgetful, she's now in a nursing home, and frankly, I think a lot of people think she's a little dotty. There may be a little bit of truth in that, but probably no more so than there ever was -- Lois has always been a progressive voice in a conservative congregation, challenging the rest of us to live up to our professed Christian commitments to tolerance and pacifism. She was active in community service organizations, protested against nuclear weapons, and, when her daughter came out, became a tireless supporter of gay rights. I've always respected her commitments, and I think she's always had her eye on me, since her son Eric, just a year older than me, died in a car-bicycle accident the summer I turned 19, and I get the sense that I remind her of what Eric might have been.
My mission, this weekend at our annual Church Retreat at Drift Creek Camp, was to see if I could capture a little bit of that spark still aflame in Lois's mind despite the slow failure of her body. I'm very pleased with the result, as you can clearly see the sparkle in her eyes in this photo. (She also still reads voraciously -- here, Jimmy Carter's White House Diary.) She may be growing forgetful, but she's absolutely unforgetable.