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.


One Word: Kneel

kneelNew Year = New Resolutions

Last year, I participated in One Word Three Sixty Five. I love the website because you can read other people’s chosen word and be inspired. One Word is a way to focus on one word for a year, bypassing or adding to resolutions. You can further join the One Word 365 community on their facebook page. 

Often, I write a list of goals and lose it, then write another, don’t do anything on it, write another, and before you know it another year has passed. Choosing one word allows me to focus on that one word and come back to it often as the year passes by.


I thought, searched, and prayed about my One Word for 2014. Again and again KNEEL came to my heart. I used this word last year. I think it might be law breaking to use the same word again.

God won’t let it go.

I think its just About Proximity. Maybe, I have further to go. I know I have further to go. I know this word is what I want to be. I want to kneel to God and to others. I don’t want to be first, or big, or high. I just want to be used.

Kneel. I’m not going to fight it. It’s our rally call to make a difference.

I would love to hear if you choose One Word for 2014 and what that word is! 


Reading others choices also got me thinking about how much I learn from others. I want to keep learning from all of you. I love your voices, you all have so much to give through just who you are. I will be starting a new series this year featuring YOU!

i love your voice seriesAn apothecary full of drawers, endless in its depths.

Each drawer a window to know and be know.

Who you are is important, so very important. We need each other to grow.


I will be scattering this series throughout About Proximity in addition to my M-W-F posts. I can’t wait to watch the list grow and grow. What will I need from you?

  • A photograph of you
  • One additional photograph that might go with your answers
  • Answer the questions I provide for you. {Some will be the same, with some tailored for you specifically}.

Who would like to be first? (I very, very much promise that you won’t regret it. You have a story that no one else has and we long to hear it!)

aboutproximity@gmail.com /or come by the facebook page/ or snag me in the real world.

P.S. {I’ll be asking too}