I’m continuing to wend my way through Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow.
The narrative doesn’t seem displeased by my sporadic visitations.
Jayber has inherited the additional tasks of being the town grave-digger and the cleaner of the church in fictional Port William.
Since he now cleans the building, he has taken to attending services.
The commentary here reflects a common experience of churches in smaller provincial areas: being a launching place for the commencement of ministry. I’m grateful for those who encouraged me graciously and patiently when I was one of these.
The idea of seminary or Bible college as Never-Never Land is wryly amusing to me.
The preachers were always young students from the seminary who wore, you might say, the mantle of power but not the mantle of knowledge. They wouldn’t stay long enough to know where they were, for thing. Some were wise and some were foolish, but none, so far as Port William ever knew, was ever old. They seemed to have come from some Never-Never Land where the professionally devout were forever young. They were not going to school to learn where they were, let along the pleasures and the pains of being there, or what ought to be there. You couldn’t learn those things in a school. They went to school, apparently, to learn to say over and over again, regardless of where they were, what had already been said too often.
Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, 2000, pg. 160