My online (and High Calling) friend Karen Eck at Karenee Art sent me an email some days ago, suggesting I might want to take a look at a recent book by a friend of hers, Allen Martin Bair, called The Rambles of a Wandering Priest. It is a collection of 69 “rambles,” or meditations, on a variety of subjects and themes.
The rambles are not what I expected them to be. They are more than meditations; they are honest, candid reflections by a man who is much like the rest of us – someone who struggles, doubts, wonders and wanders, and then is dumbfounded by God’s grace and faithfulness.
Bair, an ordained Old Order Catholic priest (they can marry), also offers something else: the perspective of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism, which was diagnosed as a lot of other things until he was in his 30s. And from the beginning, he talks about it, and likens it to a kind of spiritual autism the human race has because of sin.
The 69 rambles are organized under seven themes: spiritual autism; faith, prosperity and possessions; practical discipleship (the theme with the most rambles); God; grace, salvation, and other theological subjects; the Church, and how we treat each other; and then a final reflections and observations. He calls upon a wide array of sources, familiar and non-familiar, including Stars Wars and Star Trek (I loved the ramble about “Yoda pancakes”), vegetable gardening, writings of the early church fathers, and computer desktop icons.
Bair rambles through the spiritual landscape, but it is a familiar everyday landscape. What he does, however, is to bring an original eye to what he finds in that landscape, and you begin to see, and find, God where you do not expect to find him. It’s an engaging, honest, thoughtful work, and I’m glad to have gone rambling with it.