Backwards, march!

Backwards, march!

Of the sixteen New Years I have written these faith columns, my first remains my favourite. From the vault, here it is again, slightly edited. Something strange scampers underfoot at our house. One of our clocks, which for years has conformed nicely to the art of proper timekeeping, marches boldly where no Gibson clock has gone before. […]

Farewell to a hero

Farewell to a hero

Nine days before Christmas, the Preacher and I sat in a hushed sanctuary paying respects to one of our heroes. We had met Isabel Barnsley nine years earlier, shortly after both she and the Preacher contracted West Nile Neurological Disease. She was 79, and not expected to live at first. Until the bite, she was […]

The most beautiful Christmas lights of all

The most beautiful Christmas lights of all

Mid-December. Thirty-seven degrees below zero, sunny and no wind. Chickadees chirping, woodpeckers pecking, snow making crisp gasps under my boots. And me, moseying along the row of spruce trees in our side yard, loppers in hand. Humming Christmas. Jesus. Light. I clip the lowest hanging boughs, the ones I know will interfere with the mower […]

Give the gift of forgiveness this Christmas

“Give the gift of forgiveness this Christmas,” I read. “Set yourself free.” I had this friend, you see. Sometimes when we were together, I marveled she even called me friend. In so many ways, she seemed beyond me. She came into my life late. Both of our friend slates were full. Neither of us set […]

Christmas cards still have a purpose

I’m not sure why I bought six boxes of Christmas cards this year, especially since we’ve been sending fewer and fewer recently. I noticed them while shopping for something else, and liked their designs. But mostly, I appreciated their messages. Each card reflected the real reason for the season – the birth of Christ. Cards […]

Jesus – in bed WITH US

I had made the children rag dolls that year. Clown-faced Toby for our son, flaxen-haired Miranda for our daughter. In the very early eighties, the floppy toys became my hand-stitched rebellion against the creeping Cabbage Patch craze. The Patch kids cost thirty bucks to adopt. I’d used remnants and cut apart clothing to make my children’s […]

Dreams and Divine messages

Sleep upsets the baggage cart of our daytime thoughts and experiences, jumbling them in ways that often make no sense. The Preacher and I both dream. Some of those night journeys are nonsensical and entertaining, others are upsetting. Rarely have they been messages from God. In one of my dreams, the Preacher, with obvious sadness, […]

Post-election ponderings

For the last l-o-o-n-g period, I’ve observed the electoral circus south of the border; the interminable debacle that will forever be known as the biggest shake-up in the history of USA national elections. I haven’t felt qualified to make any comments publicly, though the Preacher would tell you I’ve made many private ones, which I […]

Just one old boy’s story

It’s not one of the nobler stories from the Second World War, but it’s a very human one. For that reason alone, it deserves telling. Sometimes we forget that the good old boys we’re all so grateful to, were once just that – boys. Newly enlisted, not long from under the umbrella of parents and […]

 Down and defeated doesn’t mean down and out

 Down and defeated doesn’t mean down and out

I will, perhaps, never forget my first glimpse of Earl. I met him on a bitter cold April afternoon. The friend who called to alert us said he’d arrived the evening before. Said he’d spotted him from his living room window; huddling motionless under a naked tree across the road. Wet. Bedraggled. Resigned. Not even minding curious […]