The Gift of Welcoming

The Gift of Welcoming

When I write my column The Messy Table, I focus on identifying and shaping spirituality within my family. That was also the subject of “The Spiritually Vibrant Household,” a Barna Group webcast last month in which they introduced their new study, Households of Faith. Their aim was to share new research on the rituals and relationships that turn a home into a sacred space, asking the question: what does a spiritually vibrant household look like today?

Learning to Read

Learning to Read

About six months ago, I joined a writers’ workshop. Though I’ve been writing for years, I haven’t been plugged into a committed local writing community since university. Writing has been my quiet work, my solitary sport, and my own way of trying to make the world make sense. But wheels turn and, with last year’s publication of my collection of short fiction and my upcoming novel this spring, I felt like I needed to settle in and make some writerly friends.

Two Trees

Two Trees

Last week, I poked around a museum that I used to know well. When I lived nearby, I would drop in regularly, but it has been a while and it was nice to be back. I visited my old familiar favourites and enjoyed exploring the recently renovated galleries, but most memorable was a large wool tapestry of a snowy landscape. It hung on a pale stone wall in an empty internal courtyard, looking like a wintry window opening on a snowy field. A large, leafless tree occupied the centre of the woven image, its bare branches reaching in all directions. Fence lines cross the field and a figure hunches against the cold, but walks with purpose. It looked almost photorealistic, and perfectly composed – the balance between the dark bark, the figure and the openness of snow and sky. An evocative image of early winter.

Word for Word

Word for Word

But I’ve found something new. This time around, the physical pace of journal writing is holding me. Date and weather, and my galloping mind is reined in. Book title and children and I am slowed to a walking pace. This writing creates rhythm as the words step out one after another like footsteps or breaths. One at a time, words slow me down.

Word gets around

Word gets around

Eugene Peterson describes imagination as “the capacity to make connections between the visible and the invisible, between heaven and earth, between present and past, between present and future.” Imagination isn’t making things up. It is seeing things that are and understanding that they are more than they appear.

A story of moving boxes

A story of moving boxes

In this season of Eastertide, I am grateful for the I am statements from John’s Gospel. Christ says: I am the bread of life, the light of the world, the door and the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life and the true vine and the way. In each metaphor, he gives us something concrete and familiar to grasp and something more.