Was He Destined To Be An Outsider?

Was he destined to be an outsider,
the half-breed his own Dutch re-
latives thought him to be, the

black sheep of the family, son
of a renegade Swede and a Dutch
mother? Raised among those Dutch,

this half-breed son of a renegade
Swede always felt on the outside,
even when he went to a college

and seminary of Dutch persuasion.
He switched denominations three
times settling late in ministry

on a denomination he thought
would be home to his decidedly
liberal views but turned out to

be but another temporary harbor
in the storm of ministry. Once,
a friend from college and semin-

ary days, someone deeply entrench-
ed in the faith of his fathers,
told him, seemingly in an accus-

atory tone, that he relished the
role of outsider and the man ac-
knowledged that was and is true.

It might be mere delusion but it
makes him feel a little closer to
Jesus, the ultimate outsider,

according to the story with which
he feels a particular kinship,
part of a community of two and

then three and then four and
isn’t that what Jesus said, that
he would be in the midst of them

where two or three were gathered?
He hopes so, because he has staked
it all on that promise. And then

he took a DNA test and found out
he was fifty percent Swedish and
thirty-one percent English, Irish,

Scottish and Welsh and not much
Dutch, to which the Dutch say,
“If you aren’t Dutch, you aren’t

much,” but this actually makes
him feel like an insider, loving
BBC’s Masterpiece Theatre especial-

ly the series Wallander, the Swe-
dish detective, and Rick Steves’
travel show through Scandinavia.

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