Stephen Paulus and what I learned from him…so far

Today is a bit of a grey day in Zürich. “Before You” is still on the Hot New Releases list. Hanging on by a thread, but hanging on!

I believe my smile and rather “charming” idiocy have worked together to connect me with some truly remarkable individuals. Today, I’d like to pay tribute to one of those connections because I really must.

On a patio on Viewside Drive in Dallas years ago, I met a pilgrim named Stephen Paulus.

Stephen had written a beautiful, no it’s not enough, a truly awe-some setting of the Presbyterian Affirmation of Faith. There was a small gathering, when he came to Dallas, at DRD and Judi’s house. We happened to be on the patio together when he asked me how long I’d been at HPPC. I told him and said, “but I’m not Presbyterian.” He asked me what I was and I remember saying, “don’t know.” He told me he was a something Buddhist. I hesitate to type the denomination because I’m not sure it matters anyway and I can’t ask him if he still is a ____ Buddhist. What I do know is the conversation about why one was “allowed” to be a ____ Buddhist (I’m a Catholic Buddhist) and not sit in sacrilege was life-altering.

We shared our thoughts about Buddhism for 20 minutes or so. Like him, I did not understand why any Christian would not be a Buddhist as well. “It’s a way of life to me and that enhances the way I practice my religion.” I loved that. I’ve said it many times since hearing it.

What I know is that my dear  __ Buddhist friend is caught between two worlds. Having suffered a stroke in July, he breathes on his own today but remains unresponsive. The man wrote this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhcnxL0xRhc Anyone capable of bringing that into this world? I pray he wakes soon.

I admire his music. I admire his commitment to applauding and championing his colleagues. I admire his commitment to family, faith, fellowship, and authenticity.

Open your eyes, Stephen. There is more to learn from you.

1 comment

  1. Prayers for your friend’s recovery. It’s beyond sad when a good person is silenced in some way. Perhaps his silence is giving others a means to explore their own thoughts and beliefs.
    When I interview people, I often sit in silence. I will ask a question and let them process it in silence. Instead of filling the space with my words, this allows them to explore thoughts and ideas then give them to me. I learn more from my silence than if I had explained more of my question.
    Hugs, my friend. Peace and love surrounding you.

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