“Do what is right and trust the Lord”—a short sentence, with two commands. As an adolescent, Archbishop Emeritus Bob Duncan committed his life to follow these orders. This would prove to be the foundation and compass for his most extraordinary mission in life. Here in the 66 brief essays that read more like a novel than autobiography, we have the story of God’s faithfulness to him, to those around him, and to his Church. Bob Duncan’s own story is one of learning to trust as an adolescent. With an unpredictable home of origin, sometimes a violent one, with all the challenges and uncertainties of teenage years, he found that there was a friend named Jesus who never ever let him down. In the brutal struggles for the soul of the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism, the fact that he had learned to really trust the Lord as a teenager made all the difference. His message is that a person must be willing, on a day-by-day basis, to act on what the Lord is saying, and to follow where he is leading, no matter how daunting (or simple) the Lord’s ask—and no matter how steep the odds or impossible the circumstances.
Duncan shows us that faith is learned by constantly choosing Jesus and then discovering that he never fails; that his way always turns out better than any other way, no matter it may not be immediately discernable. The reader will delight in the many stories told here, and ponder them too—because each ends with a takeaway “Lifelong Leaning.”
Archbishop Bob humbly witnesses to the graces of his singular mission of forging a path for his Church to reposition and renew herself in perhaps the most ungrounded time in her history—a path often unfolding in slow, conflicted, and even messy ways. Nonetheless, Duncan calls on us to put behind us the tragedy that made it so necessary and, while we may enjoy the triumph that followed, he challenges us to shoulder still unfinished tasks lying ahead.