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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

From Where I Stand

A few nights ago, my wife and I watched a wonderful film called CODA. Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a child of deaf adults (CODA) and is negotiating some of the complexities of coming of age and charting her own course alongside some fairly unique familial obligations. Her parents and brother (who is also deaf) rely on her to interpret the outside world to them. They need her to be present on the fishing boat where they earn their living, to monitor radio communications, listen for warning, etc. They need her to attend meetings and sign what’s going on for them. Ruby is quite literally the ears of the family. Read more

I Spy

A strange thing happens on the Wednesday of Holy Week. Jesus is in the home of Simon the (former) Leper when an unnamed woman pours out an expensive jar of perfume on his head. It’s an extravagant waste. It is done with little evident regard for the cost or for what those gathered might think. And Jesus calls it a “beautiful thing.” Read more

There Are No Ugly Questions

I did a strange thing the other day. I had been asked to be a part of a collaborative online project whose hoped-for scope would be relatively broad. It was an offer that, were it made ten, five, or maybe even two years ago, I might have leapt at without the slightest hesitation. But these are unusual times. Instead of enthusiastically agreeing to participate, I said something like this: Read more

Their Shouts Prevailed

Pilate and Herod were not expecting an execution on that first Good Friday. They didn’t even really want one. This struck me in a new way as I read through Luke’s account of Jesus’ “trial” this morning (Luke 23:1-56). Whatever else is going on in the story of Jesus’ crucifixion (and there is plenty going on, from the person to the political to the spiritual), this is less about Jesus sadly running up against the most powerful men in the land than about powerful men carelessly and cowardly bowing to the will of the mob. Read more

This Child is Born for Us

Around mid-afternoon on this Christmas Eve, our city was shrouded by a dense fog. It had been a quite pleasant day—mild, for December on the prairies, sunny, calm. It felt like late fall rather than the dead of winter. And then the fog descended. It was so thick that at times I could barely see twenty metres in front of me on my drive to church for our Christmas Eve service. Read more

On Innovation

A few months ago, I did something I don’t often do. I attended a candidates’ forum during a provincial election campaign. I don’t tend to expect much from politics or politicians, and my low expectations were barely met during this event. There were plenty of platitudes and evasive non-answers, plenty of posturing and sniping, plenty of “questions” from the audience that seemed like either lightly informed speeches masquerading as a queries or fastballs down the middle of the plate for a preferred candidate. This is, it seems, what passes for political discourse these days. Read more

Bigger Barns

Another Monday morning, another trip to the jail. Again, only two guys show up. There was a third who just about made it, but he transgressed on the walk to the chapel (he said hi to someone in an adjacent classroom, which is not permitted, and which led to a voice over the loudspeaker just as he was entering the chapel: “Back to the unit…”). So, only a few plastic chairs occupied in the circle this morning. Read more

Yea Lord

On Saturday night a group of Christmas carolers from our church descended upon the dementia ward of a local nursing home. We sang songs for a dear old saint who has pretty much seemed lost to the fog of this awful disease that steals people, synapse by synapse, from those they love while they are still living. He was in his pyjamas when we got there, ready for bed. He didn’t know who we were or why we were there, but he smiled and laughed and clapped along while we sang. He even tried to sing along for a few lines as the scrambled memories fought their way back. I watched him as we sang, wondering which of these familiar Christmas words, if any, might find a way through. There were only two, during O, Come All Ye Faithful: Yea Lord… But then the moment passed. He lay down in his bed and drifted off as we sang. Read more