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Home 2017-04-17T07:03:24+00:00

Wherever we are, we all need grace in our lives

By | June 30th, 2017|

I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.

For Gloria, the fatherless girl we left behind

By | June 17th, 2017|

She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it. So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children

Many Ontario doctors caught in euthanasia dilemma

By | June 2nd, 2017|

He’s a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me. Stuart is the keeper of the children’s bicycles while we’re abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That’s all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart. He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying for a

Saving mothers, one modest step at a time

By | May 12th, 2017|

In sub-Saharan Africa they call childbirth “war.” If you’re a woman about to deliver a child in that part of the world, this is your fate. Imagine it. You’re young. (Younger than most Canadians can imagine.) You're poor. You're alone.

Swimming in laughter and tears: Goodbye, Africa

By | March 17th, 2017|

The original meaning “God be with ye” disappeared into the phrase “good-bye” long ago. But this is what I’m now left with, this long good-bye. It’s a prayer as much as anything, this good-bye to Africa. These days I’m swimming in it ...

(Sixteen years ago today) she said ‘Yes!’

By | February 14th, 2017|

Sixteen years ago today, The Children’s Mother and I got engaged. Of course, at the time she was not The Children’s Mother. She was My Babe. I thought the world should know of the good news, so I blasted it all on the front page ...

Her lessons in chess are lessons in life

By | February 11th, 2017|

I’m not one to see a miracle around every corner. If things worked that way, the real deal would get awfully cheap. But I got a haircut the other day. The gentleman cutting my hair – he informed me his name was Maxwell – said it was a miracle. Not my haircut. My question.

Grace and mystery in a UCU classroom

By | January 30th, 2017|

The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” is a story taught in my literature class at UCU. It’s written by esteemed American writer Flannery O’Connor. At its end, the grandmother, a character in a lady-like flowery dress, is shot three times in the chest. It’s a horrible and violent death. The rest of her family had already been killed.

Our faces are doorways into our lives

By | January 27th, 2017|

There was a time when I’d walk down the street and look at people’s faces. Any city would do as long as it had a downtown drag of even modest substance. The first was Kitchener-Waterloo where I was a student living away from home for the first time.

Christmas is a time to look at the light in the darkness

By | December 22nd, 2017|

It’s only December but my thin bones already long for summer. For light. For warmth. Where’s Africa? It’s over the ocean. And I’m on this side, often chilled when I stand at the large window behind my bedroom desk. I look into the darkness, so deep and wide and without form.

The power and the truth in literary fiction

By | December 13th, 2017|

My own view is that winter fathers and their kids should get free movie tickets on weekends. For Sunday matinees, free popcorn should be added. Yes, free movies for the winter fathers of the world. Someone should start a petition. Winter fathers are fathers who are separated or divorced

For the love of a handwritten letter

By | December 2nd, 2017|

Today’s rumination is about the art of writing. Cursive. For the children out there, you’ll want to ask your parents or grandparents what this is, and how it all works, and why on God’s good earth anyone would involve themselves in it. I feel like a Neanderthal for even mentioning it, but since I’m older than I look I’ll tell you that when I

Unanswered prayers and the unexpected things in life

By | November 11th, 2017|

The young lady was my heart’s desire. She was my long-time prayer. This, when I was a much younger version of myself. It was on the 11th day of the 11th month when her letter arrived. She wrote briefly and dispassionately. Her words drained the room of colour.