An angel from Montgomery, now residing in the boundless love of the great forgiveness, received one of her own into her arms on April 7, 2020: the singer-songwriter John Prine.
Missing you, John. And sending love to your family. By the way, the great forgiveness, is another name for what process theologians like me call the consequent nature of God. This is the side of God that is totally accepting. My own mentor, John Cobb, experienced it one night, and describes it as an experience of total transformation, boundless love, and full acceptance. Legend has it that this side of God is filled with more angels than even Montgomery can hold. As you find your rest, John, please send some more our way. But wait! You already sent so many, didn’t you, with your songs. Thank you so much.
"Surround me with your boundless love. Confound me with your boundless love." In his Theological Reminiscences John Cobb tells readers about a time in his life when, for perhaps a minute or so, he felt surrounded by God as a pure, boundless love. He was in the army in WWII, living in a room in Arlington, Virginia. He had recently undertaken the discipline of directing positive feelings toward everyone he saw; and one night, as he knelt beside his bed for a “relatively perfunctory prayer," the experience fell upon him. Unbidden, and to his surprise, he had a feeling, a feeling of being loved totally accepted, just as he was. “The room was transformed, it was filled with spirit, it was filled with love.” Don't we all seek to be totally accepted, just as we are. Even and maybe especially when our horseshoes have run out of luck, and we're at risk of falling off a jagged cliff. Isn't it at this point, if not many others, when we seek that angel from Montgomery. And isn't it good that she arrives in so many forms?
John Prine: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
From Joan Baez: For John and Fiona Prine
March 2020: Shared while John was critically ill with COVID-19 and Fiona had also tested positive