Sometime in the middle of my second year at New York’s Union Seminary, I made an appointment to consult with J. Louis Martyn about my prospects for graduate work in New Testament. I gathered together my undergraduate transcript, a list of courses I had taken at Union, copies of my seminary papers in biblical studies, and all the courage I could muster.
My tradition of origin said, “Find a teacher.” My first teachers, of course, were my parents, especially my father, who taught me to paint a room, saw a board, read poetry during thunderstorms, climb tall logs in the playground and catch fish.
When my son David was born in 1967, fathers were not allowed in the delivery room. So I posted myself outside the delivery-room door and prayed. My wife, Dot, had had German measles (rubella) in the early months of her pregnancy. She was a pediatrics nurse, so she and I were aware of the damage that German measles could cause to the developing fetus.
On my last night in Nyala, in southern Darfur, convoys of combat-ready security forces circled the streets of the city, which has become part fortress, part camp for the displaced, and part home for dozens of international humanitarian groups.