Our community is quaint, in much the same way an outdated custom is remembered with a smile and promptly disregarded for more fashionable ways. By and large, we like it that way. I headed home last night from two taxing days on the road, and started to relax once I turned onto Steinbeck Bend, embracing the warmth of familiarity as I dipped down and through the low water crossing on Rock Creek Road en route to my own micro-universe on Private Road. The outside world intrudes now and then with stark reminders of mortality and grey morality — the importunate cancer that shadows the steps of a good neighbor, older couple in our church arranging to adopt a prematurely birthed grandchild because their daughter is behind in battles with substances beyond her control, our own daughter Foster parenting with a powerful sense of divine directive to rescue children from appalling environs and hopeless futures. We are not immune to the world’s distress or moral desolation, but we endure each together.
Our mailing address reads ‘Waco,’ but those of us who live here or travel to church nearby from outside of the area refer properly to our home as Bosqueville, an ironic order of things in light of the little known fact that Bosqueville predates Waco and, prior to the Civil War, dominated the region with its cotton farms, gin, and three colleges. Landmarks in our community are sparse these days — an elementary, middle, and high school; modest football field and bleachers; three little league fields; two Baptist churches and one Methodist church; a historic cemetery; and a now defunct feed mill situated around the ‘S’ curve and up Rock Creek from my house. Life happens in some and is remembered in others, but each stands as a monument to the weight of glory in honest sweat and divinely infused human effort. The most enduring markers are the families in which we nurture one another, grieve together, and see God’s grace in each other’s eyes. We are not stumbling along some predetermined path or making it up as we go, but learning that life is intended to be endured and embraced in the company of others.