Posts in Faith
Trying To Be Free

It's the end of July and I'm sitting in a shack under the stars in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sipping whisky with friends.

This particular whisky is peach flavoured, and not very good. A friend of mine loves peaches. And loves whisky. So this seemed perfect. She, like me, comes from a religious background where drinking is taboo. There's a shiver of rebellion as we pull this bottle of oblivion from the shelves of the Saints & Sinners liquor store.

The whisky is too sweet and too fruity for most of us in the shack, but not for my Christian poet friend. She's fallen in love with peach whisky without first learning how to pour a sensible amount. The sugary, smooth whisky goes down too quickly and none of us notice.

Over the next half hour, we watch her sway from teetering to toppling over as the liquor sets in. I hold up the bottle and it’s nearly half gone.

I get worried.

We wait it out while she lies on the bench, moaning and asking if we love her. Of course we do. Beyond telling her this, we're not sure how to help her. We are half a kilometer from her dorm room, down a steep hill. There's no way we can get her there without a commotion and some bruises.

We stall for time. And then the miracle begins.

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My Good Neighbour in the Bowtie

Monday night I’m sitting in the Princess Theatre holding back tears until I finally give in. The battle starts with the opening scenes and is lost long before the closing credits. Nearly all of us watching are hesitant to leave when the movie ends. We don’t want to break the spell. We don’t want to lose what we’ve been given. We’ve just watched “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

The story of Fred Rogers’ unlikely rise to stardom is a well-crafted homage to simple goodness. Filled with beautifully animated cut-scenes and brilliant editing, this is the best of what a documentary can be. Here is a story about art that becomes its own masterpiece. 

As I’ve reflected on why this story is impacting so many people – why it has left a mark on me – I come back to one word. Goodness.

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Song Story: Wherever You Are

I wrote Wherever You Are (the first version, at least) around 2007 in the early days of a church I was helping plant. We were a group of hip zealous young people and world-wizened elders wanting to change the world. Or at least the Church. Or at least our selves. I think we succeeded in that last part.

I was confused, coming unmoored from the constraints of my fundamentalist evangelical upbringing. It felt like a drift and I wondered if I would be OK. How far could I wander and still come home? But then I thought heard a Voice call from somewhere out in the fog. 

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#LetsTalk About Mental Illness

My whole life I have tried to understand what was going on with my mom. Sometimes I did understand. Most times, still, I do not.

But this post is not actually about my mother's mental illness. It's about mine.

Two years ago I started taking medication for Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was terrified to see the doctor. I was afraid to even entertain medication. Driving into the parking lot that morning was a big accomplishment. I recall the details clearly.

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Twenty Four

I've been home now for less than 24 hours. Half that, and most of it spent soaking up sleep. In this short time, the complicated beauty of belonging has unfurled itself like a blooming rose. Or a venus flytrap. 

Already, I have sensed the transference of a psychic weight that comes to any who dares proclaim themselves a parent. It came in sighs and knowing glances, and it came quickly. Which is fair. This is expected. This is heavy.

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Join me to learn a new vocabulary for the soul

Near the end of this month, I'll be embarking on yet another new adventure. I am co-leading an arts and faith retreat with Julie and Sam Drew at King's Fold Retreat Centre.

I've never been to King's Fold, but I hear it is gorgeous. Serene. Pristine. From the photos and video I've seen, I believe the rumours to be true. 

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