A Life of Its Own

Every once in a while, a Saturday Musing takes on a life of its own. That's what happened with the musing about Joe Bayly--College Church attender, husband, father, author, publisher, child of the heavenly Father. No sooner had the musing gone out, than emails came in from people who knew Joe only through his writings as well as those who knew him face-to-face.

Here are some of the emails that came in. At the end, we've posted "A Psalm of Wandering" from Joe's book, Psalms of My Life, used by permission of his son Tim, who recently wrote his own book on fathering. (The College Church Library has books by Joe and many are available online.)

  • "A remarkable gentleman--gracious, good humor and lots of insight."
  • "Some of the comments in his book A View from the Hearse [now titled, The Last Thing We Talk About] have stayed with me through all the losses I have had in life. I only knew them to say hello, but they left me with wonderful tools."
  • "I remember Joe and Mary Lou so well. I read Winter's Flight and it had a very humble impact on my life. I remember them with fun, humility and I honor them for their Christlike lives."
  • "I agree with your description of Joe's welcome of varied thoughts in discussions. He often shared the teaching of a large Sunday school class back in the day."
  • "The Bayly family was one of the major reasons I loved the church so much. I left Wheaton College for one  year and spent it at Kansas University because Joe encouraged me to go to a place where I would be uncomfortable."
  • "I will have to share this with my father-in-law. Joe was the best man at his wedding." (This was from Dawn Clark, by the way.)
  • "I never met him even though I lived in Wheaton in his time. I bought his book Psalms of My Life. I love it and the beautiful calligraphy by  Tim Botts.
  • "I wanted to know that someone like this existed . . . and even was a part of our church's recent history."

A Psalm of Wandering
by Joe Bayly

Lord You know

I'm such a stupid sheep.

I worry

about all sorts of things

whether I'll find grazing land

still cool water

a fold at night

in which I can feel safe.

I don't.

I only find troubles



I turn aside from You

to plan my rebel way.

I go astray.

I follow other shepherds

even other stupid sheep.

Then when I end up

on some dark mountain

cliffs before

wild animals behind

I start to bleat

Shepherd Shepherd

find me save me

or I die.

And You do.