Friday, 29 October 2010

Single-handed Theology - Presence

Arden is lying on the couch beside me, kicking the laptop with her ever stronger feet. She’s getting tired, and it’s time for her morning nap, but she doesn’t want to be in the crib by herself. So she’s hanging out next to me, chewing her teething ring, her rattle bear, her toes. Every so often she looks over to make sure I’m still there, flashes a smile, then goes back to the conversation with her feet. She’s fed and changed. She doesn’t need me for anything in particular. She just needs to know I’m there. She needs my presence.

Presence assures her she is not alone. Presence is my gift of being, the ground of our relationship. Presence is like sonar. When she reaches out to touch me, she knows she is there.

And so amid the tasks of the day, I turn and look for God’s face. I don’t need Him to perform a task or answer a prayer. But I push into Being, and feel myself spring back. With one hand stirring the pot, playing a game, hanging the laundry, reading a book, I stretch out my fingers to Presence. In that Presence I find Father, Comforter, Friend, the assurance of my being and the assurance of my being loved. I smile.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

return to Mamre

Abraham! I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see you again, but here we are under the oaks. I’ve missed these branches. So much has happened since I saw you last! I’ve travelled a long way and I’ve seen the faces of many promises, some still in the distance, and others in my arms. In the midst of a strange place I’ve found something like home, or at least a spot in the hills to set up my tent and stay awhile. Is this how you felt? When the earth stopped shifting under your feet long enough to plant a garden? When Isaac was born? When God conjured laughter out of thin desert air?


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Intercessions - October 27, 2010

God of grace and truth,

Draw near to those caught in self-spun webs of deception. In your grace bring them to the end of their lies, cut to the quick with your two-edged sword, rightly divide between light and darkness. Reveal the wages of sin. In your truth look them in the eye and speak reality into their tangled souls, the Word that quickens and restores. Reveal the gift of life. Oh Truth most terribly graceful, reach between the bars and set them free.


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Letters to Arden - October 20, 2010

Dear Arden,

The seasons are changing, and you are growing! Between the time you were born and the time we brought you home the leaves burst into full spring green on the trees. It seems fitting that you and the leaves arrived at the same time, colouring our world with life. You felt the apple blossom breezes and heard the river’s merry tune. When we counted your age in days the world was new again.
In summer we slept in arms’ reach with the windows open. You discovered blue, the blue of a brilliant sky and the shining sea. You walked with us along the dunes, and even dipped your tiny toes in the salty water. Summer was full to the brim with family and working on our new home and discovering a little more of you each day.
Now we look out the window into a golden world. The trees release their colours into a chilly wind, and we bundle you up again. You love to look at this big old world with blue eyes a little wiser everyday. As the leaves fall, I can’t help but want to slow them down, to show you every shade of your first autumn, to preserve the perfect look on your face, the size of your hands grasping my fingers.
You change with each season, growing, giving us more to love. I can’t pick my favourite season, they are all so beautiful. I think the perfect day will always be “today,” this present moment, the colour of now.


Monday, 11 October 2010

Northern Thanksgiving

I remember
The smell of the wood fire in the crisp air and the turkey slowly roasting
Mom making magic in the kitchen to the tune of pots and pans
The guest list of friends and people who didn’t have anywhere else to go
A northern family cobbled together
Stuffing ourselves with turkey, ham and laughter
Always laughter

Then, the walk outdoors in fading light
Naked trees giving us a path of crunchy leaves
Brown grass, cold noses, maybe even snow
Our full stomachs leading the way to the boardwalk
We survey the mighty river and wrap our scarves a little tighter

Back home there is dessert and more dessert
Men in the kitchen doing dishes
Candles burning, fire crackling
Lazy lounging on the couches, the floor
Making our own fun and mischief
Waiting till it’s late enough for hot turkey sandwiches

Mostly I remember that indescribable quality attending the table
The combination, the culmination of things made and passed and shared
The openness of our home, of people to each other
Of bringing all we knew of warmth and abundance into one place
Scattered and gathered on the back of a north wind
And thankful


Saturday, 9 October 2010

I Will Give My Love an Apple

In honour of our 5th anniversary, which was October 1st, here is a traditional song we had featured as a poem at our wedding reception.

I will give my love an apple without e'er a core
I will give my love a house without any door
I will give my love a palace wherein he may be
And he may unlock it without any key

My head is the apple without e'er a core
My mind is the house without any door
My heart is the palace wherein he may be
And he may unlock it without any key

all my love to Micah


Friday, 8 October 2010


I had a dream
where I held something too tightly and it began to strangle me
where I searched for the past and found only this note:

Loosely, loosely hold your treasures
Though they wrap you in comfort and sweeten your dreams
Loosen your grasp, lest you become possessed
Cling only to Christ and he will place the good before you
Cling only to Christ though the separation makes your heart ache
Cling only to Christ till you are bound to him alone
Till all your treasures are hidden in his heart


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A thought from St Julian of Norwich

"… I saw that God was everything that is good
and encouraging …

God showed me in my palm
a little thing round as a ball
about the size of a hazelnut.

I looked at it with the eye of my understanding
and asked myself:
‘What is this thing?’

And I was answered:
‘It is everything that is created.’
I wondered how it could survive
since it seemed so little
it could suddenly disintegrate into nothing.

The answer came: ‘It endures and ever will endure,
because God loves it.’

And so everything has being
because of God’s love."

St Julian of Norwich
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