May 27, 1917 Lay Service at the Hotel Algonquin

May 27, 1917

I went up to the Hotel Algonquin for the Sunday Lay Service. Ed Colson led the service. He delivered a homily about the mystery of the Trinity. I didn’t listen too closely; my mind was distracted on other things, but in the distance I kept hearing the reassuring words of redemption, forgiveness and salvation. My mind clicked back to full attention when I heard him say, “We cannot grasp how God loves us unconditionally, and that he gave his only son for our sins.”

That was it, I guess. Time to hear yet again that Jesus paid for our sins. In truth, I prefer the homily from a lay preacher because they’re much in the same situation as everyone else. They have a day job and compromises and shortcomings to worry about, unlike the professional pastors who don’t worry about those sort of things.

After the service, I had coffee with the guests from the Hotel. There was about a dozen guests, the numbers were down from the previous years. Ever since the War declaration, Americans were staying home, and getting ready for the fighting overseas. I knew the Colsons were feeling the pinch. They were hoping to have brisk business, but tourists were down everywhere, including the Highland Inn. Maybe that’s why the previous owner from New York sold the place to the Colsons. He knew the business was going to turn down and decided to get out. Molly invited me to stay for lunch sandwiches, which I did. I’ll return the hospitality soon enough, by doing some work for them. I know that they were due for a roof repair, so I will pitch in when they start.

I spent the afternoon on the lake. Not fly fishing, but trawling with a lure and copper wire. The trout were already going into deeper water. I didn’t use a rod, instead I used a spool and let the line out from the back of the canoe and let the lure sink into the depths. I let the canoe drift with the wind, and after a few minutes, I’d wind in the line and repeat the cycle. I listened to the wind on the waves. I could hear the wind going through the trees near the shore. The leaves are all out now, and what was once a ragged collection of fir and pine trees on the landscape is now filled in with the greening second growth of birches. The loons are on the lakes. One moment disappearing in the distance,  the next moment reappearing closer to my canoe.

I returned to the camp site in early evening. After supper by the campfire I wrote a letter to Winnie. I tried reading as best I could in the failing light, but I was actually thinking about my options for the future. Circumstances are still playing themselves out. I want to get definite word from Winnie before I do anything.

Other than at the service and coffee in the morning, I didn’t speak to another soul today.

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