I had planned to be in Edmonton today for the seventh and final national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, but a combination of an unexpectedly clogged schedule and yet another batch of bad weather in the winter that refuses to die means that I am, instead, watching the events on my laptop on this snowy spring morning. The opening ceremonies are taking place right now—the prayers, the speeches, the parade of dignitaries across the stage. It’s all very good, but the audio’s not great, so my mind is drifting.
Part of this past weekend was spent in Medicine Hat, AB where my son had a basketball tournament. Medicine Hat would probably not be thought by many to be a remarkable place. The city’s main claim to fame is probably the world’s largest teepee (the “Saamis” teepee, the Blackfoot word for the eagle feather headdress which was translated “Medicine Hat”) that sits just off the Trans-Canada highway near a historical buffalo jump. But aside from that, Medicine Hat is a lot like so many other windswept prairie towns. There are pockets of beauty, to be sure, but it’s mostly brown, flat, nondescript. There is the now familiar exodus of business and commerce from the downtown area, to the outskirts of town where there is plenty of cheap land for the innumerable fast-food joints and big box stores that pop with alarming speed and regularity, and the vast oceans of asphalt parking lots for the jacked up pick up trucks, SUVs and mini vans that rumble down its streets. Medicine Hat is an ordinary prairie town. Somewhere most people are passing through on their way to somewhere else. Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, wherever. Forgettable.
But Medicine Hat is not forgettable for me. Read more
We are halfway through Advent, and I’ll confess to occasionally feeling just a little bit restless and uninspired. The same texts from Isaiah and the gospels that we rehearse every year. The same rituals and routines, the same hopes and promises voiced, the same baby in the same manger with the same cast of characters. The same hymns and readings. Over and over again. Consequently, I was delighted to come across Ben Myers’ post today called “Forty Things I Like About Christianity” over at Faith and Theology. It was a lovely reminder of the beauty of this faith, this God, this story that we are a part of.
And it inspired me to scrawl out my own list. This list is by no means exhaustive. These are just some of the things that came to mind this morning. Feel free to add to the list!
(I’m not as smart or sophisticated as Ben Myers so I stopped at thirty :).)
Sappy post alert! Avert your gaze, as appropriate…
I don’t write much about marriage and relationships on this blog. This is because, a) I don’t think I have any particularly unique insight or expertise to offer when it comes to these matters; and b) I don’t really want to :). I find much of what is written on love and marriage (especially by Christians) to be either formulaic and fluffy or interminably doctrinaire and rigid. Or just boring. I’m very interested in marriage (particularly my own, you’ll be happy to know!), but I have rarely felt like writing about it.
Until this morning, evidently. Read more
As an adoptive parent, you sort of get used to hearing little phrases flying around about kids that are mildly irritating. Usually, you give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they didn’t mean anything by their careless usage of language, but some days… well, some days, it just bugs you. Today, for example, I encountered these words: They wanted a child of their own.
Today is National Aboriginal Day here in Canada. It is a day which, since 1996, has been set aside to learn about and honour the diverse cultural heritage of Canada’s First Nations, to recognize their ongoing contribution to Canada, and (hopefully) to remember that there remains much work to do in addressing the many problems that remain from Canada’s mistreatment (past and present) of its first peoples. Southern Alberta has a significant aboriginal population, with the Blood and Peigan tribes to the east and the south and the Siksika to the north, all three of which, along with the South Peigan in Montana, are part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. It is a region of Canada blessed with a rich and diverse aboriginal heritage. Read more
I’ve remarked here before that I am, by nature, a bit of a pessimist. I’m not particularly proud of this, but my default position seems to be to see the glass half-empty. I tend to expect the worst in life, for myself and for those I love, as a kind of protective mechanism—this, despite the fact that this strategy has proved to protect me from precisely nothing and, in fact, almost certainly closes off certain possibilities for joy and peace. Just this morning, in a conversation with someone about a person of mutual interest, I responded to an expression of hope and optimism in with something like, “yeah, well I’ll believe it when I see it.” Read more
As hard as it is to believe, my two lovely children are on the verge of completing their first decade on planet earth. It’s been an incredible ride so far. We have been blessed beyond measure both with the members of our family and how we have been put together.
Our own adoptive journey came to mind when I was directed to this post by Megan Hyatt Miller (h/t: Jesus Creed) on whether or not adoption is becoming “trendy.” Read more
Yesterday was a quiet day at home and my wife was doing some sorting and cleaning around the house. Around mid-afternoon, she emerged from one room with a large stack of papers and presented them to me with a little smile on her face. I looked at the first page on the stack and knew why she was smiling. The pile of paper was a prayer journal that I had kept during my mid twenties. During this apparently pious (and prolific!) period of my life, I journaled nearly every day, filling a number of thick notebooks with my religious musings, longings, entreaties, and expressions of thanks. Read more
Perhaps it’s some kind of strange back-to-school induced nostalgia, but today I’m thinking about parenthood and family and just how it is that my little twins have somehow become these big grade four creatures that no longer need (or want, sometimes) their hands held, or to be walked to school, or shepherded to their various activities, or any of the other things that have just been a part of life for what seems like forever. They’re growing up, I suppose, as kids are prone to do. It’s an interesting journey, this business of raising children. Read more
I’ve been reading John Swinton’s Raging with Compassion off and on for the last couple of weeks, and have appreciated his challenge to move past the logical problem of evil in order to focus on active resistance of evil. Swinton is less interested in a series of disembodied arguments about evil than he is in reflecting on how evil can be resisted and transformed within the life and practices of the Christian community—how we can live faithfully in the midst of an ambiguous world where unanswered questions remain as we wait God’s redemption of the whole of creation. Read more