Richard talked a lot about vocation when his kids were young. The word stuck with Margaret. When asked about it, Richard took them in so many different directions, they decided to devote the entire podcast season to it.
Margaret asks Richard why he talks so much about vocation. His answer spans time and space—from Luther’s understanding of Beruf in the year 1517 to Richard’s current theology about what holds the universe together.
People popped up in Richard’s life along the way and gave him direction. Call this vocation, good will, or “breaking the spell”—it altered the course of his life. And it all started with the neighbor, Mrs. Masek.
What does vocation mean in a hellish job? In the 1950s, the Ministers in-Industry-Program put seminarians to work in steel mills to teach them what the industrial system does to people. The lessons still apply today.
Richard is in hospice and needs caregivers 24-hours-a-day. He marvels at all the attention. For his caregivers, it’s vocation in the deepest sense of the word. Richard makes the case for public support for caregiving.
Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, Margaret’s 95-year-old dad Richard was cheerfully riding it out in his senior living residence. This podcast captures the voice of a father and his children, as they cherish their time together on earth.
Richard revels in living in Philadelphia—the historical heart of U.S. democracy and the home of his son Scott—while waiting anxiously for the votes to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.
Richard’s grandson Ben tries to interview him about cars, but the conversation soon goes off track. Richard (and Margaret) are confused by Ben’s line of questioning at first, but Ben quickly gets the hang of this business.
Richard’s been clocking his progress through the coronavirus pandemic by the seasons, hoping he would make it to this point. Now that he’s made it to Spring, it’s time to end Season 1 of this podcast and pause for reflection.