I love Your Voice Series: James McLemore


{A moonrise dust at the family farm}

Family: Married 30 years come July, Laura and I have three sons. Our oldest is legally blind and is a vagabond, quite happy and much too free. Our second is a new chemical engineer in Aberdeen Scotland, working offshore in the North Sea. Interestingly, he has returned to the land of our ancestor James McLemore who immigrated here in 1670. Our third is a playful high school senior.


Location in the world: My home is Montgomery, Alabama. I am named for our forebear Baptist preacher who settled here in 1817, and upon whose homestead we still cultivate a farm. He begot a long line of cotton planters, by whom I have untold numbers of cousins around here. We are not the Waltons but our ties bind.


Three favorites: The land of our family, my historic church, and the natural world. Sections of the family farm – including my parents’ home – are unchanged through several generations. They are simple and ordinary places really, where time pays no attention. Our Episcopal parish, St. John’s Church, is deep rooted too. Founded in 1834, the church is an inspiring blend of old and new generations, forward leaning with a respectful nod to its past. Baptized there as an infant, I suppose I am one of its many relics. Our bio-diverse state, on the other hand, is anything but a relic (politicians are another matter). It is a marvel of evolution of life. Nature nourishes through all our senses, and there I feast.


Calling: Calling is adventure. The practice of law has been a good fit and provides me a voice in varied fields which other professions don’t afford. I aim for reason and helpfulness, building not destroying. I love volunteering with nonprofits, mainly culture and art, the medically underserved, and the church — from children’s teacher to Bishop’s advisor.


God and redemption: At age 18 while reflecting on the Milky Way one sleepless night, I changed. I had a sudden and intense awareness of a consuming presence of love and of harmony with all that exists. It lasted less than a minute but left an enduring mark. Long after, I read of such accounts from mystics (e.g. Thomas Merton) and scientists (e.g. Andrew Newberg). What I experienced was real, regardless of cause. Everything thereafter has filtered through that moment. Holy Scripture seems to have emanated from such awareness, and I am convinced that through that tradition we can know God.

Storm Renewal: I see in nature a hurricane of creation, changing constantly but becoming new by building upon the old. I find renewal by folding myself into its rhythms and accepting the changes offered me too. It’s easy here where the climate is moderate and the seasons well delineated. When the community shares that vision — critical for the church — together we renew and grow. I cherish how all this is reflected in the visual and literary arts and, well, there too I feast.

Thank you so much for sharing your voice. Read a beautiful guest post by James McLemore.


5 thoughts on “I love Your Voice Series: James McLemore

    • Thanks Lisa, and I enjoyed sharing. I love finding photographs. The lake shot was made on an iPhone as my son rocketed us across the lake to avoid the storm. I was planning to shoot the moon over a swamp, but realizing late it wouldn’t work, stuggled to get another vantage and took this one as a consolation – better than my original design. Thanks for your great writing, it touches so many of us.

  1. Pingback: even the imperfect ones | About Proximity

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