Note to Self

DSC_0942 (3)

Someone sent a note. I love notes. She noticed I haven’t written much lately and was concerned for my health.

Thank you for asking. I have some health challenges, but not enough to keep me away from the keyboard. I haven’t posted as regularly as usual because, well, I needed to stop talking, hit delete, and go listen to people I care about – to good friends, to not-so-good friends, to strangers, and even to my own heart. I especially needed to take time to listen to the Holy Spirit. I still do.

It’s been a noisy time. I hear fear. So much fear. I hear anger. This kind of anger is not aimed just at the people in authority in government. This kind of anger has roots tangled with other roots of offense that go deep. These roots, extending for miles, connect with many disappointments in people and institutions we trusted. They extend so far back into the faded past, many are not sure where it all started.

I found myself swept along by the mob, demanding justice and payback for the sins of people who were themselves demanding retribution for the dishonour dumped on them – for years. I was also not-so-secretly cheering at the public revelation of moral failures on their side.

I was about to enjoy tossing off a good rant, when one of my own older blog posts popped up and arrested my attention. It was about the importance of waiting on God for wisdom and discernment and asking better questions. (You can find it here.)

In a dream, an exasperated voice asked me if I even read the stuff I write. Oh dear. It seemed like a good time to go back and read some sermons to self. I realized that wisdom and discernment are getting lost under a stack of my personal opinions and offended reactions. Note to self: Pay attention. Prioritize.

I also listened to a friend who suggested looking at a well-known story about Jesus differently. A group of men dragged a woman, caught in the act of adultery, before Jesus. It wasn’t about the woman. They didn’t care about her. They wanted to trap Jesus into doing or saying something politically inexpedient. It was a set-up to catch him making a self-contradicting statement. Not an unfamiliar scenario these days.

The mob raged. Jesus said nothing. Instead, he stooped and wrote something in the dirt.

Many people have speculated about what he wrote. If it was important, I’m sure it would have been included in the narrative, but that hasn’t stopped me from speculating too.

“What if,” my friend asked, pausing in a way that gave weight to what he was about to say next, “What if Jesus was just doodling?”


“Doodling. You know, drawing sheep with silly grins or maybe writing a Latin lesson. “Amo, amas, I loved a lass…”

“I doubt that. Your point?”

“What if the point of writing in the dirt was to break the momentum of the mob? Have you noticed that mob mentality provokes you to throw decorum aside and say or do things that, given the opportunity to think about it, you realize would probably embarrass you later?”

“Are you saying that when people stopped shouting and leaned in to see what he was doing, he gave them time to think independently?”

“Well, when he gave the ones who had never sinned the opportunity to cast the first stone, he hinted that maybe they should examine their own hearts for impulsive, rebellious, evil, or just plain stupid decisions they have also made.”

“I think I see,” I said. “And when the momentum was broken, when they stopped running with the mob, they could think about their actions.”

“He told the woman not to sin again,” my friend said, “so he wasn’t affirming her choice. But she wasn’t the one who asked the question. She wasn’t making demands on him with a disingenuous motive.”

Note to self: Don’t let the mob think for you.

It’s election season in my country. ‘Tis the season for striving for positions of power and, by virtue signalling or opponent bashing, divide the population into cheerleading teams for a winner-takes-all verbal battle.

Integrity seems to have vanished in the dust-up.

The questions behind the question of whose team to root for are probably more important than we realize. Why are we afraid? Where did the anger come from? What happened to hope, to trust, to goodness, to love? Why do we put our trust in mere mortal, obviously fallible “kings” to save us?

No. I’m sorry. Not we… I.

I have to stop the ranting and examine my own heart. Why am I afraid? Why am I angry? When did I lose trust? Who am I expecting to be my saviour?

My country needs good, faithful competent administrators who will put the needs of its people ahead of their own. Integrity matters. Character matters. Trust matters. I have a responsibility to pray for discernment and vote wisely. But I don’t need a father or mother figure, or a pope or a guru, or an indulgent Santa Claus or any other idol. I already have a God. My hope is in him.

I’m going to stop talking now and go for a walk. It’s time to seek the Lord.

DSC_0901 (4)

My Home and Native Land

Jaffrey rest area autumn ch IMG_6709

Election day in Canada is almost here. You know, this one feels different from all the other elections I have voted in. It’s been downright nasty. I have seen more  personal attacks on people running for office, and those who support them, than I can remember in previous elections. There seems to be more polarization, more angry people disagreeing on social media and in public places. I wonder how long it will take to heal after the signs come down.

As a response I would like to say this: THANK YOU!

autumn N Sask river ch IMG_6086

Thank you to all you hard-working people who are brave enough to stand on a platform and smile while people interrupt or shout at you or ask questions that are not really questions.

Fisher hay ch DSC_0028

Thank you to the workers who help with campaigns and who set up secure voting sites.

Mayook pond autum dark water reflect 2 chDSC_0035

Thank you to all the people who have served faithfully in public office in this land, at all levels, no matter what their party affiliations.

Edmonton street IMG_6114

Thank you for the hours spent in boring meetings, for making phone calls to help people caught in crisis, for negotiating both peace and prosperity with other nations, for protecting our rights to live by our conscience and beliefs, for being willing to live far from  friends and families to represent your constituency, for being vulnerable in front of cameras, for working for the welfare and safety of all your constituents.

Mayook pond autumn ch

Thank you for honouring our heritage by encouraging us to maintain the best parts of our cultures.

norbury mountains path autumn IMG_7537

Thank you for loving my country as much as I do.

Norbury lake rock water autumn IMG_7461

And to all the people who will be elected to parliament next week I say God bless you. My prayers are for you, not against you, that you will have vision for a peaceful, caring, unified, prosperous nation that works together to build an even  better country for generations to follow.

Lazy Lake reflect ch IMG_6323

I thank you and honour you for your willingness to serve.

Elk river autumn Fernie ch IMG_6680

God keep our land glorious and free.

maple red yellow autumn ch