Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Doug's Wrinkles

Doug says all of his wrinkles are self-inflicted. He describes himself as a charter member of the vast right wing conspiracy. Sometimes I try to reason with him and other times I simply scratch my head and tell him he’s just misguided. We both laugh because despite our ideological differences, Doug and I are pals. I know he is trustworthy, honorable, and good-hearted.

Like many people in Nashville, music is an important part of Doug’s life. It has brought him joy, but has also caused personal hardships. He and his wife Linda were divorced after 17 years of marriage. He blamed the split on his music, but also said he was a crummy father.

At the time of divorce, he, Linda and their three children lived in Ohio. They spent a year apart, but returned to Nashville and wed for a second time on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium. It was after the new Opry stage opened, but the old one was still available for tours. Today, he and Linda are celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary!

Doug said it took coming back to Christ to make his marriage work. He had a God-sized hole in his soul then and understands and hurts for people who are grappling with their own spirituality. Doug’s music is now geared toward people who struggle with their beliefs in God, plus he has written a book about his own struggle.

Like Doug’s efforts to find peace in Christ, the members of his congregation have just resolved their own struggle. Last week, 86 percent of the parishioners voted to leave the national Episcopal Church because they do not agree with the direction the church is going. They have renamed All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna to St. Patrick’s Anglican Church. They may lose the building because it belongs to the Episcopal Diocese, but Doug says, “If we do, we do.”

In addressing the split of the church, Doug said it doesn’t bother him that there is a gay Bishop. What bothers him is that the Bishop left his wife and children to have a relationship outside of marriage. He says that liaison is the sin. He and his fellow worshippers were also angry that the church no longer believed that the virgin birth and the resurrection are valid. Doug said for three years they stood by and listened to the heresy, but had enough. He accepts that women can serve as priests and as Bishop, but was outraged when another new Bishop gave thanks to “Mother Jesus” during her first Mass.

Doug realized they would not be able to change the direction of the national Episcopal Church, so they followed their hearts and their beliefs and have gone back to their more fundamental path to Christ. Doug welcomes people to walk along his path with him.

Next time I see Doug and ask, “Whatya know, Doug?” he will probably reply that it takes a darn big dog to weigh a ton. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t because just as his music and faith warms our hearts, his amazing sense of humor puts a skip in my steps.

As the holidays approach, you can hear Doug at the Bell Buckle Café where he performs weekly or on the just released CD collection “My Christmas Song for You.” Doug’s voice reminds me of a gravelly combination of Jim Reeves and Burl Ives.


Blogger Lynnster said...

Hey! I thought I would come visit tonight since you visited me earlier and tempted me with peanut butter & chocolate, LOL! I read this entry earlier but my brain must have stripped a gear and I missed the paragraph about All Saints/St. Patricks's, interesting! I am a cradle Episcopalian and was very involved in Middle TN diocesan stuff when up there so just found that really interesting.

I am going to have to take some time this weekend and go thru your archives and see if I run across anyone I know, since I lived in the 'Boro from 1984 to 1988! Love the blog, have a great rest of your week, Kathy! :)

2:16 AM  

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