Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Late last night, I learned of the death of Tom Niccolls. Tom had served at Hiram College. He was a gentle, patient, passionate, dedicated peacemaker and justice seeker. He was in Eastminster Presbytery - in the Youngstown area. We often ended up at events together - sometimes unintentionally.

I remember walking across the Ninth Street Bridge in Cleveland. The march was for nuclear disarmament. And there, on the bridge, I met Tom and Betty. Again and again that happened.

Tom was a writer - a number of his skits will appear among the resources offered by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program for the 30th anniversary of Peacemaking: The Believers' Calling.

He was also a fool. For Christ. In profound ways. Tom engaged in clown ministry - a ministry that he shared around God's world. A ministry rooted in the gospel which proclaims, in the face of the weary, worn wisdom of the world, that love is stronger than hate; goodness is stronger than evil; resurrection will follow death; and God will have the final word and that will be a word of grace.

I give thanks that God shared Tom Niccolls with us for a time and that I had the privilege of knowing Tom. I give thanks that God who Tom followed in this life has welcomed him home. I give thanks for Tom's foolishness. May I be such a fool.

Got back to the gym today. Did a little over two miles on the treadmill and several weight machines. I made it to 10,093 steps. The goal worked as I did some extra walking to make it.

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