Looking through the magnifying glass and it’s not pretty


I have been kicking around this old world for a long time and seen changes that, unfortunately, are not good. I remember the focus placed on discerning one’s “calling” or vocation. I was raised Catholic, which will explain that, I guess. I have always worked with the public. It has been a joy and an honor to serve people in many capacities. I don’t feel it’s been a vocation per se, but I have enjoyed life, even with all its challenges and tribulations. Serving the public felt like I was leading a life of meaning, in ways that have fed my spirituality and nourished my soul. It feels good to help others. If I make someone’s day a little bit easier in any way that is a wonderful thing and by and large I have found people to be good, decent, and absolutely wonderful.

But reading news of racial strife, of the systemic murder of people of color; of poor leadership in governments around the world (if you can even call it leadership) makes me shudder. There is so much pain, so much injustice, and this pandemic is acting like a huge magnifying glass forcing us to see that which we would prefer not to see. Ignorance may be bliss for the privileged and the powerful, but for the victims of poverty and want it is not bliss but a horrific and painful reality. And it makes me wonder if the idea of service, of the golden rule, has been plunged into the whirlpool of dark eddies that seem to have enveloped our world.

In these times of terrific upheaval, of economic uncertainty, of a future shrouded in fear of the unknown, it can be so easy to throw in the towel. It is tempting to turn one’s back and fall into the temptation of self preservation. But the lessons I learned in childhood, the experiences I have had, all have kept me rooted in the idea that service is an honor and helping one another is a blessing and a deep, deep joy. I hasten to add service does not equal bending one’s neck to be stepped upon, nor does it mean having to live life like some kind of joyless martyr. No, not at all! I will not be swayed by the evil behaviors of the few. I will not bend to fear or abuse of power. I will stand with the one who is indeed powerful by whatever name you may attach to a higher power. I will stand with those who have always been chained in poverty and injustice. And if I can do anything at all to help break those chains I will!

Cravings


Craving

Craving peace and serenity

Craving joy

Craving answers and more

Craving most of all

Your divine presence, Creator of all

In these days of constant confusion

Of upheaval, illness, and the death of so many

Of a future shadowed and murky

“Days of wine and roses” so misspent

And misguided

Forgive our addiction to the temporal

To pleasures that cannot and will not ever last

Fill us now with your peace

Cool our cravings for that which never satisfy

That vanish like mists in the hot sun

Let us be filled with the peace only you can give

Bless us now with the sweet serenity

We can only know with you

And let our worries blow away

Like dandelion seeds on the wind

This I ask of you

Divine One

For Brittany


I never really knew you well

But I remember the young girl

With the bright, wide smile

Speaking poetry with a put-on accent

That made us grin and giggle

You were a delight and a total ham

Drinking up the accolades with relish

No false humility there!

It has been many years since we met

Yet, that one meeting had an effect

And you are remembered fondly

I know you now through stories told

By those who know you much better than I

Of your struggles and your pain

And of how you’ve soldiered on

Through it all

May you marshal your courage once again

To meet this new and foreign terror

That has swept the lands

And invaded your every cell

I think of you as you were then

And pray that young girl that lives within you

Gives you strength to beat this thing

Be well, young friend, be well

_____________________________________________________________________________

Over the past weekend we learned that a young woman who has struggled with type 1 diabetes, kidney failure, and other health issues has been diagnosed with Covid-19. She has been through a lot in her young life and if you will, I invite you to join me in praying for this courageous young woman for her recovery and for good health. May God bless Brittany.

A Prayer to Encourage


Divine One grant me strength

To serve with love and compassion

With wisdom beyond my own

Grant me:

Energy when I am weak

Rest when I am weary

Inspiration when I am hopeless

Quenching waters for my thirst

And calm in the midst of storms

Divine One, come,

Fill me when I am empty

Comfort me in my sorrow

Give healing for my soul

Please take my hand and hold it

When I feel so all alone

For when the night is darkest

And when my tasks are done

Let your peace be my pillow

My blanket, trust sublime

And then,

Help me when a new day dawns

To do it all again

Back where we belong


Draw strength from this, my child

That though my arms cannot hold you

You are enfolded in my love

My thoughts reach out

To swirl around you

Can you feel my love?

Do not cry my dear one

Do not grieve or mourn

My essence I am sending to you

In the notes of my song

Draw strength from me, my dear one

For I have lived and loved so long

Let my words caress your heart

And know, that together or apart

We cannot be divided

We have been one from the very start

Nothing can come between us

And though I too yearn for you

I know this storm shall pass

It will not last forever

Soon we shall all be home

So, take comfort in my message

Be brave, dearest one, be strong

And before we know it

We will be back where we belong

Faith, Belief, and Memories of past adversity


One year ago, today, my husband was sent home from the hospital in the city. He’d had a gall bladder attack and landed in hospital on the 9th of February and after spending almost month there, doctors elected to send him to the city where there was better diagnostic equipment. But, after several weeks and a consultation with the cardiac team, it was decided he was at too big of a risk for surgery and he was sent back home. He’d been air lifted to hospital but we had to find our own way home. Thankfully a friend of ours was able to come pick us up and drive us home. It was a brutal trip. My husband endured it but was in pain the entire journey.

Less than two weeks later it happened again – another gall bladder attack. Once again, he was air lifted to the hospital in Edmonton. This time there was no choice in the matter, that gall bladder had to be removed. I remember sitting with two friends I’d made during his previous stay as I waited through his surgery to learn what the outcome would be. And praying, praying, praying. Needless to say, he survived the surgery. But the lessons I learned about faith in the midst of adversity have stayed with me.

Now, I have written about our experiences before, but as I sit here, I remember the fight to have him return home by plane or at least by ambulance where he could lay flat instead of enduring the long four-hour drive sitting up in a car. He’d just had surgery and was in no condition for that. Every day was stress filled as our local hospital insisted he be released because they didn’t have a bed for him. Back and forth it went with me being adamant that he could not face the long drive in an upright position; that he was still not well enough to come home. In the end he was air lifted back home and readmitted to our local hospital. He would spend a further few weeks there before finally being discharged.

Today we have the shadow of this corona virus hanging over all of us. But my experiences with my husband last year have strengthened my faith and my trust in a loving Creator who answered every prayer last year and during every day since. Yes, I’d had to fight for him, for us. Yes, it was hard. But it is during times of seemingly hopeless situations that hope is renewed, faith is renewed, trust is given. During those days last year, I spent many a sleepless night, often in prayer. Often a “peace beyond all understanding” settled over me. And so I write this, as much to remind myself as it is to share with you the lessons I learned: “God is not dead, nor does he sleep,” are part of the lyrics to the Christmas Carol, I heard the bells on Christmas Day, and these words came to me again and again as I faced the possibility that my husband might die. I also learned to “let go and let God”. I learned the value of prayer that keeps us going and sustains us, even in seemingly dire situations. And so, my friends, take heart. We are not alone. The Creator knows our every need, our every want and desire and sees the big, wide picture, while we see only a small part of it. I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t know why so many are sick or why so many are dying. But I will keep faith in the God who helped us through our situation last year, and who continues to sustain us today.

Stay well. Follow the regulations. Stay home and please, stay safe! As for me, I will continue to pray for you, for me, and for all peoples of our world.

Always here


As the world mourns mounting deaths and sickness

You are here with us

You are always here

Help us remember in the midst of fear and terror

That you are here, always, always here

And let us be comforted

Let us remember past ages

When plagues swept the globe

When all was dark and gloomy

When the pall of death cast a wide net

And people were afraid

But you were there, always, always there

Help us live with the many unknowns

Help us place our trust in you

Until the dust has settled

And the sun comes shining through