I just discovered that Lane passed last November. My condolences to family and friends.
Lane holds a special place in my heart. I was a student at Vanderbilt Divinity School in the late 80's and Lane was my field placement supervisor at The Vanderbilt Institute For the Treatment of Addiction (VITA). He introduced me to the amazing world of substance abuse treatment and 12-step recovery. I loved it.
The day I walked into his office at St. Augustine's Chapel for an interview for VITA turned out to be the most pivotal day of my three years at the divinity school.
I had gone to the Vanderbilt with the goal of becoming an Army chaplain (which never happened). But my placement at VITA, along with Lane's guidance, opened up for me my true calling: substance abuse counseling.
I have worked as a professional A & D therapist for the past 23 years (the last ten with the Veteran's Administration). I now know that my career in substance abuse treatment was a much better vocational fit for me than the military chaplaincy or other forms of ministry.
After graduating from Vanderbilt I moved to Florida to work in substance abuse treatment and I lost contact with him but I never forgot what he passed on to me in our supervisory sessions and also by Lane just being himself.
I regret I did not let him know what a major impact he had on my life. I believe that the help I have been able to offer to thousands of patients over the years is due in large part to the guidance and insights he taught me about how to help those who are struggling with addiction.
I still have the book (Matthew Fox's The Coming Of The Cosmic Christ)he gave me as a gift at the end of our year together.
He inscribed on the flyleaf:
To Larry Condra
With much gratitude for a good and enriching year 1988-1989.
Peace, Lane Denson at VITA
And what a year it turned out to be!
Thank you Lane for the positive impact you had on my life and that of so many others.
Lane, with much gratitude and thanks; rest in the eternal peace.
Larry Condra, MDiv '90 Vanderbilt Divinity School