We Need Your Positive Thoughts and Prayers

In the midst of great distress, some say that they no longer want "thoughts and prayers." In the face of tragedy, these words may come across as an automatic reflex offering little comfort or real empathy. They may seem a weak substitute for the concrete action needed to address pressing problems. As one mother whose … Continue reading We Need Your Positive Thoughts and Prayers

Make Haste to Help Us, O God

Twelve days ago my husband had a medical emergency, and while he does feel better now, he is still in the hospital hooked up to various medical things, waiting for more tests and next steps. Any medical emergency is hard, and even harder in a pandemic. In our case, COVID-19 protocols kept us from seeing … Continue reading Make Haste to Help Us, O God

Escaping the Self-Centeredness of Mental Illness

I know better than to blame anyone for being ill. Whether the illness is physical or mental, no one who is ailing needs the added burden of being shamed for it. When my dad's back pain forced him to lie down after supper, that wasn't malingering or laziness. When a friend's depression descends like a … Continue reading Escaping the Self-Centeredness of Mental Illness

Sitting with God

Sitting With God: Show Up, Let Go, Open Your Heart

When I'm tired of words, I find refuge in silence. In fact, as much as I love words, praying in silence has become one of my favourite ways of praying. Sometimes it's a sacred pause to pray before a meal. Sometimes silently praying along in our corporate prayers as a church. Sometimes simply sitting quietly … Continue reading Sitting With God: Show Up, Let Go, Open Your Heart

Reading My Way Through Tsundoku

One of the few Japanese words I know is tsundoku. While it's new to me, it's actually an old word that dates from at least the Meiji era (1868-1912), and it means letting books pile up to read later. Or as we might think of it today, tsundoku is "the art of buying books and … Continue reading Reading My Way Through Tsundoku

Come, Let Us Worship, Come What May

On the day that our province declared a state of emergency, I received an email asking for permission to include some of my writing on a new worship website. How strange, I thought. Here we are in the midst of pandemic with new cases of COVID-19 increasing daily, the death toll rising---and I'm being asked … Continue reading Come, Let Us Worship, Come What May

Stories of God’s Provision

In high school I wrote poetry and other stories, but never thought of writing as a possible career path. Instead, I felt most drawn to social work. As I read the words of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19, I imagined myself living them out in some form of community service: The Spirit of the Lord is … Continue reading Stories of God’s Provision

When You Love a Prodigal: Banishing Fear and Leaning into God’s Love

When Judy Douglass and her husband agonized over their son and his destructive choices, they turned to friends around the world for prayer support. Over time their call for prayer turned into an annual Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day with several thousand first-names-only on the prayer list. "Almost every family I know has a “prodigal”—someone who … Continue reading When You Love a Prodigal: Banishing Fear and Leaning into God’s Love