Be Ordinary, Be Used

One of my favourite friends grew up down South, attending a church called “The Old Regular Baptist Church.” I don’t know if I’d fit in at that church. I’m not old—yet. And I’m not sure what they mean by regular—though I eat a healthy serving of fibre every day. I’m …

Lovers, Fools, and Promises

Some people think Holly is a fool. Holly is a teacher. Holly is a devout Christ-follower. And Holly, knowingly, married a murderer. In a drug-related incident in his youth, her husband stabbed his drug dealer. The case was clear-cut, and the subsequent life sentence came as no surprise. Chances are, …

From Funeral to Birthday Party…

Benjamin Bean attended a funeral with me a few weeks ago. During the eulogy and reflective readings he remained stone still, tucked into my side. “Nana,” he whispered, suddenly, softly. Turning to me. “I’ll be sad at your funeral.” The direction of his thoughts startles me often. “That’s okay,” I …

Remember

On a recent trip to Ottawa, I wandered over to the Canadian National War Memorial on Parliament Hill. The monument was surrounded by flocks of curious onlookers standing eight or nine deep behind a blockade. A member of Hill security stood on the adjacent road, arms folded, inspecting us. “Move, …

In Times Like These–Pray

“Nana, am I five now?” my third grandbean, aged a mighty three, asked the other day. “Cuz when I get to five, I can SPEED!”  Slow down, child. Just a minute ago, a half-century ago, I was five too.  In 1961 the average hourly wage was $1.15. The average annual …

Got a Whale Headed Your Way?

In the flurry of my newly-four-year-old grandbean’s birthday party, while I washed Romaine lettuce under the tap–preparing a salad to accompany my daughter’s lasagna–the child came to me. Grabbed my hand and said, fiercely intent, “Nana, tell me the story of Jonah.” “Later, love. I’m helping Mama make a salad. I’ll …

Atheist by Default?

Since creation, two corresponding questions have risen, set, and risen again. Like the sun and moon, they loom large on the horizon of human thought. “Who is God?” and “Who am I?” The Bible records that God created man(kind) in his own image. History shows that man immediately began creating …

See You at the Banquet?

Gourmet food. French-accented waiters. Alabaster columns, domed ceilings, and ghosts of nobility and dignitaries. But when I’ve forgotten much else about that elegant business dinner, I’ll remember the man sitting to my right. “What are you having?” he asked, studying his menu. The buffet,” I said. (It seemed a safer …

Don’t Waste Your Passion on Pumpkins

It’s Thanksgiving day as I write this. The dining table extends clear into the living room. We’ll gather round it in a few hours, a collection of family and friends. They’ll arrive any minute, expecting laughter, food and fellowship. We’ll have that—and pumpkin too. Most of our family likes pumpkins—the …