The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

death is morbid but Meaningful and we need to be Ready

April4

I found myself, and early Thursday morning, looking to the stars while getting ready to walk with Emma Jo to the bus stop.

Amidst the caucaphonic singing of birds I found myself contemplating the twilight, and rapidly processing a broad array of thoughts that included: Gatsby, the “Word” as a lens, Speed Racer (actually, Racer X), and why it is light posts dim when special people draw near.

I thought of Bill Pope, and how he and I would have stood there quietly together, our hands in pockets, putting lines-of-thought together that might have only, and at best, confused (possibly, admittedly, concerned) others. It’s not simple easy understanding where Walker Percy both came from, and where he was coming from.

…and, now this:

Bryan Davidson had opened my eyes Wednesday when he reminded me of something one of his own professors had said to him at Liberty Baptist College: “Death is morbid but meaningful”.

Apparently, and according to this same professor, the meaningful part is because it opens your eyes. It’s how you see it.

Death, that is – someone else’s.

I’m also pondering what death might look like when it’s racing at you, or even creeping up on you. I’ve faced my own mortality in some tough spots. But, I don’t want any of this to be about me, right now.

So… I’m in a kind of “zone” for the moment around the whole Bill Pope situation. I’m not seeking answers, nor understanding. Possibly I am sorting out direction. I do know that I, for one, won’t ever be able to say enough good things about Bill. However, wherever he is – it begins in my heart and memory, and has clearly set a standard for a baring point.

By the way…

…on the tail tale-end of that telephonic exchange with Bryan I asked him how he was feeling (he was sick with what seemed like allergies to everything, including air and all edible things, for years). He mentioned “some dude” put his hands on him at a soulybusiness event, and he was healed.

I asked him if it was John Stein, of course.

And, it was, indeed (and Jesus, apparently).

John, just so you know, is a Healer. It’s true. I don’t even find it odd. But, then, you need to understand John – and man, is that another story. My favorite is a long run in the mountains of Tennessee early morning along train tracks. But, that, another time.

Bill Powis (I call him: “Pastor Bill” – a natural teacher, by the way) is leaning into me as well. I think he likes my torment. But, he also appreciates my open-heart. Man, he would have really liked Pope.

And, if we must be judged, I’ll hope it’s by the men around me.

And, to that end…

I’ll note, and do it here, that Marcus Crocket came back from Bill and Bryce’s funeral with the comment: “I was amazed at the testimonials for Bryce. It made me understand what a great influence in his life Bill and Jane were. They were READY. They lived their lives like Jesus”.

Those are powerful words around a man with a life well-lived.

But, there is more. It’s happening all around us. …change and perspective, I think…

Another dear friend, and agonizingly patient spiritual mentor, Durwood Snead, also lost his seven day old grandaughter this week, ironically named Madison (the name of Bill’s surviving daughter). She held her Mother’s gaze for only a few short hours. In his email to me, today, Durwood said: We talked about how we did not understand why God needed Madison more than He felt we did, but that we had to trust Him because He gave His only Son for us.”

I’m not sure what’s next with all of this. So, now this is something like they. But, we can all count on there being a next what.

This I do know… We’ll need to make our stand her, and now. We must decide, each of us separately, and together, to either reel with these blows, or grow because of them.

We need to be READY.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

NOTE:  Walker Percy (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990) was an American Southern author whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is best known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962. He devoted his literary life to the exploration of “the dislocation of man in the modern age.” His work displays a unique combination of existential questioning, Southern sensibility, and deep Catholic faith.

Goodbye my Friend – I will see you soon.

July22

Here is some background to put this entry into context…

A younger man that I mentor re-namedfor the purpose of this post “Bryan Smith” sent me an email that included the following paragraph…

“I know you are a straight-shooter… So – to be honest- in the last few months you seem different to me than you were when we first started meeting. I don’t know if some Christian or something crossed you wrong and caused you to have an attitude of disdain – but if so, I’m very sorry that happened and I am certain it grieves the heart of God.”

[…]

My response to “Bryan Smith”….

I had already seen all of this in your eyes the lat time we met. And, my gut was confirmed when I saw you at the airport.

You had asked me to tell you what I honestly thought of you. And, I could see it in your face that you did not like what you heard. Although I doubted you would come back for more (and, this saddened my deeply), I felt it was my duty as your friend, and a man of truth, to tell you what I believe you need to know – not what you want to hear.

To be candid, I don’t believe you can learn any thing from me in your current season of life. The way I would hold you accountable is untenable for you. Let me give you clear examples… I am convinced that you want to surround yourself with people that will tell you that you are a young genius in the verge of changing the world. You also want people to “invest” in your gifts and support you. I don’t disdain Christians. I do question the caliber of men that can’t carry their own weight. And, there are too many of those people around you.

As you know, perceptiveness is one of my strongest gifts.

You have probably been sitting on this email to me for some time out of uncertainty.

I have not been wounded by a Christian that has resulted in my disdain for Christianity. I am, of course, made of much sterner stuff than that. I have certainly been disappointed by many people of every conceivable faith. But, it is my conviction that all men are inherently good; and, this core belief drives my passion to keep helping people that cross my path.

“Bryan Smith”, Christians do not own integrity. Nor do they have dibs on God. There is only one God. I probably see him more in context as described by the Holy Bible (the Qur’an was, in my opinion, written in a fashion that was meant to be unclear, and thusly, an aid to subjugate free will and open opinion – the sorry plight of most Muslims). But, that is primarily because the Bible is the most comprehensive text that accounts for His principles via relevant life examples and makes the “Christ element” so very compelling. I know you probably don’t like my views as a “Jeffersonian”/2. And, I have been criticized for this by the local Christian community. But, as you mature you might consider that Thomas Jefferson was the architect of our Constitution that formed a country that is the very foundation of a community where Christianity has one of it’s strongest footholds, and a platform for the Great Commission in the form of Global Missions. Thomas Jefferson would ask us to embrace all men, and encourage them to love God as their various cultures perceive Him. Bryan, if you can’t or are unwilling to love everyone, and learn from them, you will fail to be the best asset you NEED to be to fully glorify God and represent Christ. Furthermore, I think that any man that attempts to “conform” the love of God along a single linear belief defies Christ’s own message. Jesus fascinates me because he focused on the outsiders of the community and used them as examples of his love. No one, certainly not me, can deny that Jesus Christ changed the world, and continues to do so daily. Perhaps this is why His gift of discernment is so crucial to real growth. Therefore, there is noting worse than a defensive Christian with a closed mind. They fail to carry Christ’s flag because they think they are entitled to bear his cross.

That, my brother, is you. In the body of this email you send me is judgment.

Put a date on your calendar to read this email on July 22nd each year. As your life and role on this planet evolves, ask yourself if my words are true, and assess their impact and value as they compliment your evolution as a man. I want nothing but success for you. Since I don’t know what that will look like, I am eager for updates in the years to come.

I think you have potential. So, don’t be that Christian that evokes my disdain. Make me proud and consider what Jesus would have you do instead – not necessarily men of your community that have lives unfulfilled, and are not true to their friends. One of the best mentors I have had (so far), and a Jew to boot, taught me to follow my dreams, and be true to my friends. So, for the moment, these words, in this email, are the best gift I have to offer you. I don’t believe they will have the impact I hope for today. But, I am investing in your future.

I am your friend.

Brian Patrick Cork

____________________________________________
Goodbye (or the shortened form, goodby, sometimes used in American English, or simply bye) is a traditional farewell phrase used in the English language. Most scholars agree that the phrase originally derives from “God be with you.” It has also been suggested by some that it originated from “God buy [redeem] you”.
2/ See “Being Jeffersonian, Part I” dated 02/09/07 and “Being Jeffersonian, Part II” dated 02/10/07.

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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