Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Where I'm supposed to be

Jerry Askew at St. Mary's has a saying. Something about people being in the right place, doing the thing they're supposed to do.

The beautiful thing about this job is that every now and then I'm reminded of just how true that statement is.

I wrote a story, first on the blog, then later in the paper, about one of my heroes -- my former pastor, the late Shields Dalton. I was so moved by a couple of responses I received from the blog that I decided to expand the story and put it in the paper.

Today I've been shown just why I was supposed to do that.

Got a phone call from a woman in Halls. She said Shields married her and her husband. Thanked me for the article. Said it was going to mean a lot for an event going on in her home this evening. Said the story gave her chills when she read it.

Then I got an e-mail with the subject line, "Thanks for the memories," from someone who used to have long discussions with Shields about God and heaven. My grandparents received several calls about the article.

The response has been humbling and overwhelming.

I listened to one of Shields' sermons during a devotional time on Sunday night. It brought back a lot of memories, yes. His topic was the work Jesus left us, his followers, to do, while we are on this earth. It was convicting.

I don't know exactly what my purpose at this newspaper is. But all I know is from time to time, things both little and small remind me that I am right where I'm supposed to be.

I just can't help but believe that someone out there needed to hear that story about Shields this week. I know I needed to hear what he had to say that long ago Sunday in 1988.

Thanks for everything, Shields. You are in Heaven, but are still very much with us.

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