Saturday, February 27, 2010

They're Okay

I had a friend in junior high named Jeanette - we also played soccer together in elementary school. Sadly, Jeanette was one of those kids who would get very angry if you pushed the wrong buttons, and we were mean to her in grade 4 - so mean that I still feel guilty about it today. But, in junior high we were friends, even though she wasn't one of the "cool kids" (but hey, neither was I!), and then she went off to a different high school. She had a very rough childhood, losing her mom in a car accident, her dad to a heart attack, and then finally, her brother. I could hardly believe it when, in the summer of 2006, I picked up the local newspaper and found that my old friend had died in a car accident on one of the highways around Devon. I went to her funeral out of a sense of obligation, even though I hadn't seen her in 20 years, but I wanted to give my respects to her, and through her funeral saw that she had lived a happy life, had three kids, and had been living only minutes away from me and I never knew.

Elizabeth was invited to a birthday party by a new kid in her class - his name is Talon and he's a funny little kid. Parents were invited to the party as well, and I thought it would be nice to meet Talon's parents - it seems that the more people you know in a small town, the better.

So I took Elizabeth over and was invited in warmly by Robert, and when I met him I had a flash of familiarity, but not unlike when I see a lot of people around town. After all, it's a small town. A young girl was bringing out a pinata for the kids to play with, very pretty, around 14 years old, and as I watched them, I had a sudden realization: I was watching Jeannette's daughter holding the pinata and Robert was Jeanette's widowed husband. The realization was so overwhelming for a moment that I could hardly contain my emotions. I had thought about Jeanette's family for three years and wondered how they were, and now I could see - they were doing very well.

Robert appeared happy, hosting this party for his girlfriend's son, and Shelby was a beautiful young lady - spitting image of her mom, but so different in personality. She was outgoing and chatty, and so good with all the little kids running around.

In an episode of Star Trek, Mr. Spock comments on how time is like water, with ebbs and flows and waves, and that the currents of time eventually take us all to where we are supposed to be. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I crossed paths with this family, but I had never thought it would be in such an unexpected way. I stayed just long enough to see Jeannette's two sons drive up in a beat up red van, but they looked good as well - young teenagers, laughing at the little kids.

I don't know why everything happened as it did today, but lately a lot have things have been happening that make me question His Devine Intervention. We need to realize more how God is in control of the ebbs and flows of time, and all things come around to serve His purposes.

If we can just stop long enough to listen, all things can be revealed, but we have to stop, and that is the challenge.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Back in the late 80s and early 90s there was an ice dancing team from Canada who skated for France. They were a brother and sister team known as the Dushesnays. I remember seeing them for the first time and felt a sense of magic in their skating, and when they skating their program in the 1990 world championships, I cried. It was called "Missing" and it was about oppression and crimes against humanity, at a time when human beings were going missing and never heard from again.

I pulled it up on Youtube today and watched it, evoking memories from 20 years ago, and again I cried. But this time it wasn't so much for the routine, which was still breathtakingly spectacular. I cried again for the memories I have from that time, since I taped the program at my grandparents' house (on VHS!) and watched it over and over. After watching that performance, my teenaged self chatted with my grandma, played a bit of crib with grandpa, with the world ahead of me, on the cusp of graduation and University looming in the fall.

Fast forward 20 years and it's so hard to visit the grandparents now. Grandpa just seems so tired, and the only conversation that can be had with grandma is about the weather. It's painful in a way, painful to think of the days when I could discuss the future, and how University was going, and what I was planning to do with my life. Now I've lost my friend and confidant, even though the body is still there, but the best conversations now are about the long ago past, long before I was born. It's the only time now when grandma seems like her old self - when she's talking about her childhood memories or about her two sisters, long gone from this world. What a cruel irony - that memories from 75 years ago are held intact, but memories from the last few years are gone.

It's stuff like this that makes me ponder the meaning of life and what our purpose really is. What kind of legacy are we meant to leave during this temporary moment in time? I find myself gravitating towards the senior members of our communities, trying to figure out what makes them content, and how they remain stoic and true while the world around us continues to crumble. Time marches on and the memories are sometimes all that are left, but what are we going to do with this time? I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff, and if I would just jump forward, there is purpose and meaning waiting for me that I could never have dreamed of. The tough part is not knowing what the future holds.

But if I could go back in time and sit beside myself in the family room, watching the Dushesnays carve out a masterpiece on ice, I would tell myself to cherish every moment in that house and with family. Another twenty years are going to pass in the blink of an eye, and I want my 57 year old self to be proud of the last 20 years, having missed nothing.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Why does it seem we let pride get in the way of the things that are truly important? Take a career, for example. We all know that work is work and shouldn't be the centre of our lives, but why does it sneak in and try to convince us that it IS all that important, and we're crazy to not want more money, power and prestige? Why does it have to be a fight? Logically, I know that this is all meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but why do I feel a little bit of glee when a new client calls, and I can pridefully think "They want ME - they think that I'm good enough to take care of their business!"

Shouldn't I instead be revelling in the Love of a Saviour, and think, "He's loves ME, and He thinks that I'm good enough to live with him for all eternity!". And then everything else would take a backseat, and it would all become ancillary to The Truth.

Why does it have to be such a battle?