Teaching Literature as
Mediation: A Christian Practice
Arlin G. Meyer
WHEN MY FATHER DIED several years ago at the age of ninety, I shared some recollections of him at the funeral service, reflecting on his four most admirable qualities—his patience, equanimity, sense of righteousness, and his lived faith.
As a farmer, my father knew the importance of time, and he knew something of the regularity of time. He was never in a hurry, never frantic, and seldom harried. He was endlessly patient with his seven children. As much as we tested his patience, he always remained unperturbed, almost stoic in his demeanor. His equanimity demonstrated itself in his calm and even temperament. He seldom exhibited extreme highs or lows and always kept his emotions under control, thus providing stability in the family. If I imagine my father as a boat, he was evenkeeled, seldom rocking and never tipping. Dad possessed a supreme sense of righteousness. In all aspects of life, he had a vision of fairness, justice, and rightness. Whether it involved the planting and cultivation of corn, the education of his children, or the proclamation of the gospel in church, Dad knew there was a right way of doing things. To live righteously and to practice justice was for him a credo, a way of living. And for him God was the measure of righteousness, the yardstick against which all of our human activities are measured. Despite all of the trials and adversities in his life, Dad never questioned God or God's plan for his life. He seemed to know, in a way few of