I just drove 1/10 of the United States, that is I drove through five states today: Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Ohio, and finally, Indiana. This weekend my family and I went back to Accident, Maryland. Accident is a small town in the western most county in Marland, Garrett County. It is nesteled in the southern range of Appalachains. Garrett County is tucked in between the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and the the two northern arms of West Virginia. Accident is a small farming community. We lived about four miles outside of town in an area called "the Cove." It is not a lake, but a bowl, or valley and that was my home for nine years-- from the age of 12 to about 21, or so. It is in short rural and I love it.
We went there for a dedication of a newly renovated interior of the church. As a minister's son I moved around a couple times and I'm sure just about any minister's kid would agree when I say one of the things we as a "sub-culture" feel is this: we don't really have a place we can call "home," particularly if their father moves every five or six years. I felt that way too for a long time, but I can say this honestly: Accident, Maryland is my home. That is where I pretty much grew up. It gets harder and harder to leave everytime I go back.
I walked through the cemetary that is next to the small church. In the back couple rows are the stones of people that I knew-- Hubert Thomas, Harvey Harman, Louise Dillon, Alverta Dillon, Claudine Opel, and Grandma Esther Margroff... saints all of them. They are all in Heaven singing the songs of salvation. Each one of them is in my heart. They passed on to me in their own ways their faith, a simple "of the earth" faith. An example: yesterday in a bible study they were talking about the book of Amos. They were talking about Amos 7, I think, the section about the plum line. The pastor asked what a plum line was for. Elmer Hanft said you need a plum line to keep things straight," he went on: "when you set up a saw mill you have to have a plum line..." "why?" "if'n you don't the boards won't be straight, they'll be skinny on top and fat on the bottom." "how does that fit with faith, elmer?" "well, God is a plum line, too, his law keeps us straight."
I'm not sure if I can really quantify everything I fel this weekend in words. I can say this, though, it felt good to be in the mountains and the air smelled delicious and my heart smiled and my faith was strengthened. And God is my plum line, too.