A Letter, an Update, a Meandering Missive

Hello Old Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well, and not stuck in a well –or in hell. Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

I guess I had a streak of putting at least something up at my blog every weekday for a few years. That streak has, of course, ended. First, it was the terrific storm and its power-destroying aftermath that prevented me from posting my usual batch of copied quotes, or silly pictures (or occasional essays). Then, things got very serious around here as my friend, pastor (and my brother’s Father-in-law) was very seriously injured, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. He has been in a coma for 11 days. That was on Independence Day, after the fireworks. Gina took the picture above during the day on July 4th, when things literally and figuratively looked brighter.

I have added a page which will feature the post I wrote about Kim, as well as links to the Facebook prayer group and the donations page, if you want to check that out. It’s on the menu at the top of the site, it says “Kim Buttram,” and on the right side, “Pray for Kim Buttram.”

I have written some more about Kim, and about what I’m going through (along with my church, family, and community), but I’m not sure it’s something I should share. Maybe later. It’s been heartbreaking, and bewildering, as well as an avenue to see incredible unity, love, and goodness. God be praised; How long, oh, Lord?

Please keep Kim’s wife, Linda, in your prayers. Please keep his two young (recently-adopted) daughters, Alyssa and Andrea, in your prayers as well. Please keep Kim’s older kids, Josh (who I was once in a band with), Jodi, Jessi (my brother Josiah’s wife), and Jack in your prayers. There are lots of grand kids. They are all beautiful people.

We’ve mostly been watching kids and helping to coordinate care for the Buttrams (along with others).

This past weekend has been the first time we’ve been home, with power, since late June. We have enjoyed it, but there is a kind of emotional vigilance that marks our lives now, where we can’t quite relax until we know what will happen with Kim and his family. And there’s the ongoing needs to address. It makes posting funny pictures on a blog feel strange. But, I’m going to start doing it again, as well as the occasional essay, the regular quotes, and the sometimes video. At any time I may need to abandon this blog again. This week is all scheduled, but who knows about the next? Not me, I’m certainly convinced of that.

This week I plan to publish an essay I wrote before the storm, about the impact one person can have in a family for generations. It’s called, “Spaceships to God.” It honors a very special heroine. Look for it Thursday morning at 8am EST. Unless I pushed the wrong button.

We have been going through Ecclesiastes in our church (I shared a poem I wrote about it here), and it has been dramatically appropriate. Kim’s fellow pastor, Hamlet Smith, has been preaching some amazing sermons (as have a few others, including Kim –before this terrible event). Ecclesiastes is so practical, teeming with wisdom for life, for both the dark days and the pleasures. Thank God for it. It’s been just what we have needed.

“Consider the work of God:
who can make straight what he has made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

(Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 ESV)

In down moments (of which there are few), I’m trying to think about what to say at Hutchmoot 2012. I’m excited to be a part of this again, and about the sessions I’m involved in. With the difficulties of this year, I’m really looking forward to being with so many good friends, and receiving the spiritual and emotional boost that has always been there in this special gathering.

I continue to be excited about what is being shared over at Story Warren. I love what it is. I love the people who are making it such a special place. I look forward to what it may become. My partner Andrew has had a real challenge on his hands lately. He has been transitioning from his secure job to a more entrepreneurial model. If you need typesetting, editing, design, e-book, or publishing help, he’s your man. He’s also great at helping us non-techy people with buying and setting up a computer. He can save you a lot of headache and a lot of money. He’s done it for me about a zillion times. He’s trustworthy and a truly great guy.

I had to give up half-way through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Too much suffering for me to willingly experience at once right now. I’ll pick it back up later, I hope. I’m on The Odyssey again.

I continue to have some health problems that are, by comparison, not that bad. But I would love for you to pray for me.

There’s plenty more to say, but I’ll slow to a stop here soon.

Lastly, thank you. Thank you to churches who send $1,000 to the aid of a vulnerable family they don’t even know, to people who mow grass, bring food, donate 50$ on the web, and serve in countless ways a very needy family. When people love the Buttrams, I feel like they are loving me. I’ve seen a lot of it. Thank you. Thank you to those of you who have given to the Buttrams because of your friendship with me. I know you are out there. It’s a kiss on the lips.

And thanks to friends who have sent us various gifts of kindness recently, from letters and cards, to a box of power-outage supplies, to postcards from Florida for the kids. These things (and others) have been so encouraging. We literally are having trouble remembering all the kindnesses we’ve been shown recently –though many of your faces come to mind. We have really needed the encouragement.

Grace and Peace to you,


  1. Oh Sam. Thank you for this – helps me know how to groan in prayer (hope you know what I mean.)
    Gina captured such beauty in the picture at the top, and it is always such a treat to see the Smith Chilluns.
    Grace and peace,

  2. Hey, Sam. Just wanted to let you know that the Brunos are aching with you and the griefs your sweet family is having to bear right now. We, too, are looking forward to Hutchmoot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.