Mourners still need community, even during a pandemic

In 2004, my cousin Eldonna and I travelled to India. During part of our time in that country, we stayed with an Indian family I’d only known through correspondence. While there, we received news that Eldonna’s mother in Saskatchewan had died unexpectedly. With no cell phones, we hadn’t been in …

Exploring COVID-19’s other woundings

At this writing, our globe has grappled with COVID-19 for almost a year. It has changed everything for too many people, and too many things for everyone. “I don’t want a new normal,” my friend said, referring to those pandemic changes. She stamped her foot a bit and fumed. “I—we …

No social distancing required in the most important relationship of all

COVID-19, with all its adjustments, terrors and sorrows will pass in time. Remember how difficult things were at the start of the pandemic panic, when everyone learned we must keep our distance from anyone not in our own household? Early in 2020, after the Preacher and I moved nearby them, …

Simple words for a complicated world

One day, God willing and should the earth last so long, our grandchildren will tell their children that they lived through COVID-19, just as elderly survivors of other pandemics and deadly diseases, have spoken of it to their children and grandchildren. Stories of hardship, of fear and faith and frailty. …

Where is God in a COVID-19 stricken world? As near as our breath

 “Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me,” we read in the beloved twenty-third Psalm. In these fear-heavy days, God still walks and talks with us. And when some of us sicken, and some die, he is there too. His presence is …

Ancient words for a new crisis

 An embarrassing truth confronts us all. We first-world emperors have no clothes after all. Reassurances of our own lordship, the thoughts that have clothed most of us for most of our lives (we are what we make of ourselves, unconquerable, masters of our own destiny, no God necessary) have toppled …