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 …

God’s reflection reminds us he is still there

Cloudy days of the soul often block our view of God, threatening faith in his goodness. But they persist in our souls’ regions, these pandemic times. “Cloudy with increased chance of precipitation, in the form of salty tears,” a forecaster may say. The Preacher has fought depression ever since he …

A different way to look at your closed doors

A different way to look at your closed doors    In 2007 West Nile Neurological Disease removed the Preacher from full-time ministry as a member of the clergy. But following a period of rehabilitation, Sunday mornings often still found him preaching in various pulpits temporarily or permanently without pastors.    …

Birthday blessings? Try these

Since childhood, I have preferred a few close relationships over many superficial ones. Media platforms such as Facebook are too big for me. Too intimidating, and too artificial. Nevertheless, realizing the times, I try. “Birthday blessings,” I typed on a Facebook friend’s page the other day. I regretted it immediately. …

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 …

Here, there and everywhere – life between homes

A few more months, the Preacher and I hope, and we’ll have completed our move. Meanwhile, it feels strange, living in two houses. No matter which house I’m in, I feel at home. The two places feel connected, albeit with a long, paved hall. Sometimes, when I’m standing in one …

Tough times? God may be working on your jewel

“What are you here to do for us tonight?” one of the 2007 Britain’s Got Talent judges asked, eyeing contestant #31829. There he stood, thirty-six years old, with an awkward stance and too many chins. He’d dreamed of spending his life singing. He knew he’d been born to it. But …

Love notes that matter

“Dear Nana. I’m good. But I’m in love with you. Benjamin.” He wrote that note at around five. His crooked, pencilled letters sprawled across the full eight and an half inch width of paper. I keep it in my Bible to show his future wife, should he marry, that I …

Twelve years after the pirates, here we stand

Sometimes I forget that our four oldest grandchildren never knew their grandfather when he was healthy. Never saw him leap high into the air and toss a ball into a hoop. Never descended into a cave with him, hiked a mountain trail together, or knew him as someone who often …

A word from my daughter…

I’ve written about faith and life, home, friends and family in this column for a generation now. Through these five hundred words a week, loyal readers have watched my family (and pets) change and grow. Our daughter has been and done many remarkable things over those years. God arranged that …