I did not know where to stop this time and so stayed too long. Left untold were the stories of my first meetings with David Montoya, his reluctant revelation to me of the "smoking gun" of Valleygate or my absolute disgust at the response of Texas baptist "leaders" who only wanted the image of propriety and damn what is right. I have only hinted at my despair at the path the BGCT chose, inside and outside the Building.
Still, I have some hopes. The cheerleaders leave when the game ends, the game is nearly over and we will hear from them no more. The cowardly calls to move on will silence when the callers themselves are made to pull behind them the burden they will not unload, instead of the rest of us. The mindless will finally stand revealed, the thief will be caught red handed.
Post tenebrae lux, latin for "after darkness light." It is not predestined we will have light simply because we lived so long in darkness. One does not follow the other, they exclude each other. Both have their purposes but no one voluntarily stays in darkness forever. I still hope for light. Light will come when enough of us tire of darkness.
For those who must have a few more specifics, the three decade long fight against Fundamentalism first led in Texas by TBC now has us fighting ourselves usually with the same tactics we deplored in others. I am not the one who has proven inconsistent. I hated these things in the Fundamentalists. I hate them in us as well but, to find them in our camp, is the more disappointing.
The state convention will revamp again. This will not come because some little man who knows how to start but not how to persevere and certainly not how to finish, demands it. Churches will remake the convention in their own image either from deep conviction or lack of concern. Fifty years from now historians will decide what went wrong and religious leaders will try to find ways to get us back together, for Humankind will connect and Christians all the more as we see the Day approaching.
I intended to tell a good story as I wrote in beginning. I did not mean I would tell a story of good but would tell a true story well. Readers and higher critics decide if we reach our literary goals. Writers can only take comfort because we wrote and hope because we tried.
You have seen through me to recognize this memoir for what is really here. This is a series of "essays from experience." In the daily dribbles I put out I asked us to examine our soul as a people. I found it necessary to put my own soul on display as well as under the microscope. The murky places I did not obscure, I think, nor whitewash the faults. If I was too hard for your tastes, that was intentional, for you are too soft for mine.
I wish I had my youth to give to God again but it is gone. In its place I offer the resilient strength of age, the experience of pain and joy, comingled with the stubborn good hope of fifty four Texas springtimes. There are many wonderful members of this Texas baptist family. They taught me so much these last years. I can look at the Alamo now with the assurrance heroes fought on both sides of the walls.
I had the joy to meet many of them, my fathers and mothers, as well as sisters and brothers. I had the worrisome duty to offend more than a few. I could not do less. They are Texans, Texans and all, as strong as a Longhorn, swift as a Red Raider, loyal as an Aggie, fearsome as a Bear, lovely as a bluebonnet. They are Texans all, even the ones I offended and they would do the same for me.
Vaya con dios, Amigos, vaya con dios.