To date, I still haven’t heard back from anybody in response to my invitation to Fletcher Field next Thursday to talk out the whole Belle Isle mess.
Maybe this will change their minds. I first posted this blog entry in February 2009, but felt the need to resurrect it.
Deacons watching over us
The sorrow in the church actually felt like it had substance, the ability to penetrate you like a flesh-eating virus. It emanated from every pew, from every corner of the building. Even the beautiful stained-glass windows lacked their usual luster during the funeral service for Deacon Charlie Tom Cranford.
On this day, the windows of Shield of Faith International Ministries seemed to tone themselves down in respect, like a flag at half mast, saying that this man’s death had left a great void in the world — one that likely never would be filled.
I experienced that same intense sadness about four months ago at a funeral service for another deacon, Raymond Lubien. Hearts were just as heavy at Temrowski Funeral Home that night in mid-October, when “sorry for your loss” just didn’t cut it.
Oddly enough, Deacon Lubien and Deacon Cranford — more than a decade apart — held similar positions at 13600 Van Dyke in Detroit. Deacon Lubien watched over the buildings of Holy Name until it closed in 1990. Deacon Cranford did so in the Shield of Faith era of the campus, almost right up until the day he died.
The two men also played roles in the interfaith service at SOF last March. Deacon Lubien helped plan the service and then joined the clergy on the altar on March 30. Deacon Cranford kept watch over us from outside the church, driving up and down Doyle and Nuernberg in his van with the yellow light on top, making sure we — and our vehicles — stayed safe all afternoon.
Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, Deacon Lubien and Deacon Cranford never met, had the opportunity to talk about all the things they had in common — including being loved by so many.
Well, I’m pretty sure they finally got that chance last week — in a place where loved people of all colors, creeds and eras come together — and are watching over us tonight.
Still, we’re left to wonder what the neighborhood around the church might be like if the talent and passion of these two men had come together 30 years ago.
You want to fix Detroit? Do everything in your power to bring people together before it’s too late.