In the corner of my office is a box of my Grandfather Kamm’s papers. Samuel Richey Kamm was a professor of political science for thirty years at Wheaton College. There’s a picture of him in the box: short and slender, silver-gray hair, a half-smile, and kind eyes, standing in front of a chalkboard. He looks at ease. I rummage through the box occasionally, reading his syllabi, lecture notes, and publications, envying that he seemed to have found his niche and lived in it so well.
I did not follow Grandfather Kamm’s path into Christian academia, and it haunts me sometimes that I missed my calling. Personal failings and the demands of life took me down different paths, many of which have been rich and fulfilling. “God writes straight on broken lines.” I know that to be true. Still, I wonder sometimes.
As I wonder, I read and jot notes in journals. I ruminate. I pester friends and family with questions and ideas. A graduate of Westmont College and Fuller Seminary, I grew up evangelical. Now? I’m evangelical-ish, Catholic-ey, and Orthodox curious. Writing helps me understand what I experience and believe, particularly about my faith. It “gives to airy nothing, a local habitation and name.” In some small way, it redeems the time.
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