Testing Grows faith—Don’t Opt Out

I watch closely the tender growing things in our backyard garden, begun from seeds our grandbeans helped plant. But even more closely, I’m observing the spiritual formation of the Beans themselves. “Nana,” said one, during a recent–and thankfully, now over–health crisis. “How many people are praying for me?” From his days …

Taken in or taken up?

I got an email from “God” the other day. “I’m in San Mateo, California,” it said, and “pleased to update you on My Successful Arrival.” God, it seems, is seeking sponsors to further the cause of The Resurrection. “Applicants may apply by email to god @llah.us.”  The email advised me …

Beware the Molothrus

When I watch some of the young parents around me, trying to balance parenting of precious children with overcrowded schedules, un-weaned self-interests, too many technical gadgets, and homes bulging with clutter, I shudder. I also think of the year a brown-headed cowbird deposited its eggs in a pair of songbirds’ …

Snake, Rock, Story

Three little girls passed my house as I swept the front porch. One carried a fist sized rock. “Just killed a snake,” said the tallest, all proud. “Like this,” said the child with the rock, tossing it down hard and picking it up again. “Smashed his head in.” “Hmm,” I …

Four sure things in life

Silos are tumbling, and trees are toppling. Flooded crops, washed out roads, downed city signs, and snapped limbs abound across Saskatchewan.  Tornadoes have touched down, roofs have lost shingles, barns have lost roofs. Around Canada and in the US, citizens battle devastating rains, floods, heat and fires that threaten lives and …

Road Trip

Things start falling apart at certain stages of life, have you noticed? Laughter, too. “Puddleglum,” I tell the Preacher sometimes, when he laughs, big and deep. “You need to laugh more. It suits you.” But life ruts, schedules and deadlines interfere with mirth, so one day we stepped out. Got …

Things close, things good

In a big world seemingly bent on deconstruction, I find it helpful to focus on things close and good; lately, the construction of our front deck. Our carpenter has already done plenty of good work on our bungalow. He tells me he has ample incentive to do things right—our home …

That’s Father

They joined the Bruce trail at Old Baldy on the Niagara Escarpment: the Preacher and our teenage son. It’s been decades now—just yesterday in memory for them both. I likely warned them before they left the house, exuberant, eager. “Baldy’s lumpy. Tree roots and stuff.   Stay away from the edge.” …

Don’t Trash the Dream

Ever since he can remember, the Preacher wanted a motor-scooter. Something about the wind in his hair and no passengers, I think. Perhaps it was his shoulders, stooped by other people’s burdens, or an obscene increase in gas costs. Whatever, I said, one day over lunch. “Why not go check …