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Sue Mosteller and David Harmon

A reflection from Sue Mosteller for our 2011 advent season.

David Harmon

David Harmon

In the Gospel, Joseph received the startling news that his wife, Mary, was pregnant. Sad and terribly disillusioned, Joseph decides how he will move forward. Scripture says, “Because Joseph her husband, was faithful to the law and yet did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” Joseph chose the most loving direction he could imagine – and only after that did the angel come to help him.
Another “living” example of goodness and faithfulness is my good friend and brother, David Harmon. Ove the span of our almost 40 years in the community he has “lived” a myriad of abrupt, unexpected changes, disappointments, disillusionments, and losses. David continually inspires me with his seeming never-ending ability to accept and move on.

David’s constant good humour and amazing ability to hit the nail on the head with his comments has seen us through many a hard day in community. Here are but a few examples:

  • Dead tired one night, I told David I didn’t think I could make it upstairs to go to bed. “Do you think you could carry me up the stairs, Dave?” I asked. “I could,” he answered, “But to do it, I’d need a crane!”
  • Or the day Elizabeth began to whistle as they drove home from an event together. When she paused at a stoplight, David interjected, “Talk about a sick hummingbird!”
  • Or the day of the big flood in our kitchen just at 4 pm when people were returning home from work. Some were scrambling to find the valve and stop the water while others scurried with mops in about an inch of water! David stood in the doorway with his lunch pail observing for a moment or two, then with his huge work boots stepped into the middle of the puddle, raised one arm over his head, and announced in a loud voice, “Save the women and children! I can swim!”
  • One time, on a Friday lunchtime at the Woodery everyone was waiting on Joe to slip into the driver’s seat. Joe, however, was inside, exhausted, and trying to decide if he wanted to join the noisy gang for their regular Friday lunch at Joe’s Hamburgers in town. He almost opted out, but at the last minute decided to go with the men. In the car and arranging his seatbelt, he felt David’s hands gently rubbing his shoulders from the seat behind him. Joe paused and then said to David, “Oh David, you don’t know how wonderful that feels, especially today! If you keep doing that, I think I’ll give you a raise!” David paused, then, continuing with his massage, he said to Joe, “I don’t want a raise, Joe. All I want is to be with you!”
David with his mother, 1971

David with his mother, 1971

David’s mother, in her final illness seemed to be holding onto life and unwilling to die even thought she did not fear death. It was David who came to her bedside to reassure her with the words she needed to near, “Mother, I’m going to be OK. You can go to God now. Your work is done!” With David’s acceptance of her leaving, she passed into the arms of her Beloved Saviour.

I’m thankful that in the past, Joseph trusted his intuitions so that Jesus could come into the world. And I’m deeply grateful for David’s constant fidelity in the present that inspires our journey together!

-Sue Mosteller, December 2011