Sunday, 31 August 2008


Freedom falls like an August wind before the thunderstorm, charging the atmosphere with the electricity of hope. Hope that the deluge will descend in the splendid violence of overburdened precipitates, releasing waves of sound that drown the whimpering city. Freedom falls in the force of flood - close your eyes and let it take you.


Thursday, 28 August 2008

Own Me

- Ginny Owens

Got a stack of books so I could learn how to live
Many are left half read, covered by the cobwebs on my shelf
And I got a list of laws growing longer everyday
And if I keep plugging away, maybe one day I’ll perfect myself

Oh but all of my labour seems to be in vain
And all of my laws just cause me more pain
So I fall before you in all of my shame
Ready and willing to be changed

Own me, take all that I am
And heal me, with the blood of the Lamb
Mold me, with your gracious hand
Break me till I’m only yours
Own me

Oh you call me daughter, and you take my blame
And you run to meet me when I cry out your name
So I fall before you in all of my shame
Lord I am willing to be changed

Own me, take all that I am
And heal me, with the blood of the Lamb
Mold me, by your gracious hand
Break me till I’m only yours
Own me


Abraham, how could you? How could you follow a God who seems to laugh in your face by turning promise to torture? Did doubt scream protests and tear its clothes inside your head? Sure, it turned out for you. The lesson, we are told, is about trust. Just trust and it will all be ok. But I’m not so sure what will happen to me. I’m afraid to walk the path of self-denial, three days to the top of the hill, heaping kindling upon what I welcomed as a gift. I have my old swiss army knife, heavy in my pocket. Is it big enough? Will I have to use it? I doubt there are rams in these parts, much less angels. Abraham, will you carry me home if I have to come back alone?


Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Is this my reflection?
Is my heart this black or is the mirror distorted?

Spirit, meet me in the old sweet songs
Back to the floor, I open my hands

I fight the power I have given to the dark
While secretly desiring it

Spirit, I have forgotten how to surrender
I cannot speak your tongues

Take my life and salvage any light left
Break me till I’m only yours

Spirit, take these honest tears
And turn them into a baptism


Sunday, 24 August 2008

a little dirt

Don’t get me wrong. I like those Bruce Trail types – the quiet non-motorized people with clothes from MEC and non toxic water bottles out for pleasant strolls in pristine-ish wilderness. I am one sometimes. The problem is, this part of Ontario is divided into Bruce Trail, aka You Only Wish You Could Ride Your Motorized Vehicle Here Trail, and pavement, with rich “NO TRESSPASSING” property and fenced-in farms in between. So what’s a couple on a dirtbike to do? Usually, ride the smooth highways and look wistfully down private roads. I could almost fall asleep on the back of the bike. There’s no room for us in these parts. We’re too much of a menace to civilized society I guess. But tonight, we found “Unopened Sideroad 10.”

It started off as a double track with a little sign that said “Road Closed,” probably more for insurance purposes than anything else. With no indication of private property or surveillance cameras, we headed in. It was a real dirt road, the kind that runs between farmers’ fields, the kind you use at your own risk, the kind where you have to watch what’s coming up and duck out of the way of overhanging branches, the kind nobody cares about. It smelled like manure and trees and dipped up and down over a little ridge. We could feel the ground under the tires, the way it should be. It was a glorious anomaly. We followed it, grinning all the way (too short) to its end. As we approached the concession, I could see a sign facing the way we just came. I was afraid it would tell us we had been trespassing or engaging in some other reckless disregard for the law or public safety. But all it said was “No exit.” And in my books, that’s fair game. Sometimes you just need a little dirt.


Wednesday, 20 August 2008

a walk

(Fort Smith, NT - June 17, 2008)

I saw, heard, felt

delicate wildflowers, always ready for a bouquet,
a slowly picked bundle of yellow, white, pink, purple
small and fragrant beauty

the river
the sound of rapids, glorious white ribbons streaming round the rocks,
the sound of liquid thunder
I fell in and out of love on your banks

poplars in the wind, whooshing and waving and singing,
silver undersides of leaves sparkling in the sun,
soothing and stirring the earth and sky

the old paths, worn by childhood memories and imagination,
soft and sandy, familiar to my feet

the lookout, breathless lookout, stage of the sunset,
throws my heart over the landslide into the river,
the largest place I know

the leprechaun forest, chopped down and left for dead
the magic has seeped out – don’t you understand what was here?

the road much travelled, the sound of gravel in the driveway,
leading home

this is my home
the forest my teacher, sweetly whispering
the river my priest, sacred and forgiving
you gave me my purity
entreated my imagination
broke me on the rocks of womanhood
sang longing into my spirit

you always open your arms and take me back


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

a bit of a chill

Today there was a chill in the air, a delightfully fresh reminder that our present toiling under the sun will soon give way to a harvest reaped in joy. This year I am especially ready to welcome autumn as the season of new things, to savour each crunch of the leaves beneath my feet and gleefully pull on my wool socks. When the trees begin to glow orange, then the feasting will begin…


Monday, 18 August 2008

moonlit kindness

In the moonlight I saw things for what they were. First, I laughed at how silly I was. Then, I was sad because things didn’t have to be that way. But the truth is freeing. Sigh no more – the crickets are singing and the stars shine simply again. I’m glad it was the moon that showed me, the quiet gentle moon. There is kindness in its silvery self revelation. In the sun I would have been burned, red-faced by exposure. Prayers are answered in peculiar ways. Tonight I find grace.


Monday, 11 August 2008

learning imperfection

Learning imperfection goes against the grain
Of a tree that’s used to growing perpendicular to pain
But tangled gnarls and crooked roots
Rounded burls and offset shoots
Are proof you see that the perfect tree
Is only made more interesting when weather leaves a stain


Thursday, 7 August 2008

The bells

Today the church bells are ringing. It’s noon, and I can hear hymns pealing from the church tower nearby. Amazing Grace, This is My Father’s World, Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. It sounds like the bell ringer is practicing. They are familiar tunes to me, but I wonder how many others would recognize them. Whenever the bells ring, I feel as if we are stepping back in time, when townspeople would receive daily encouragement from the church’s bells. Most people now are probably more annoyed than anything. But I love them. For a few minutes, the soundtrack to the neighbourhood is gospel joy. They don’t ring daily, and sometimes I think weeks go by between soundings. So I am always surprised when I hear them, and thrilled.

The first time I heard them in Georgetown was our first Christmas here in 2005. It was Christmas Eve, and we had just come home from our church’s service. I had never heard bells like that before, and I was so excited. Christmas carols rang out all evening – tidings of comfort and joy. I felt like it was really Christmas that night.

There is something uniquely inspiring about hearing the church’s music over the noise of everything else. Perhaps it’s my longing for the good old days, or appreciation for ancient forms of music. Or perhaps it is the realization that this glorious song will one day be heard in all the world. Today, they are a sacrament of the coming kingdom, when the music of grace will rule all our neighbourhoods.


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