Do not run or fly away in order to become free.
Rather go deep into the narrow space given you.
There you will find God and all things.
It’s Thursday morning, and I’m just sitting down now to write tomorrow’s blog post. The narrow space given is the next hour and a half before my first directee of the day arrives and life follows without many empty spaces in it.
This week I spent five days with my sister who lives in Quebec. We visited family and art galleries, planned our biannual siblings’ bike trip, and surmised how best to help our ageing parents while I showed her a bit of the British Columbia coast. Out of my regular routine, I went from one moment to the next, one conversation to another.
I travelled through joys, disappointments, sadnesses, beauty, surprise, awkward moments and wonderful ones on a steadily moving train of time.
The afternoon she left, I went to the Wednesday Lunch Club, an outreach for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. After we’d had something to eat, we gathered in a circle to remember a First Nations friend who had recently passed away. It was only after we lit the candle that I remembered that we needed to acknowledge that we were on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Kwikwetlem nations, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the names of those nations. But our priest did, and we muddled through.
I left there and muddled through my weekly chaplaincy visit with a ninety-four-year-old woman in a care home. As is our routine, I read a Bible passage and reflection, prayed with her, and we sang a hymn together. She struggles to express her thoughts; I struggle to make sense out of what she’s trying to say. As I listened again, she said clearly, “Thanks for not giving up on me.”
Without a second thought, I said, “I love coming to visit you.”
Just as my internal voice kicked in to challenge the truth of that, she looked at me and smiled. I smiled too. It was a beautiful, holy moment.
I look back on the past week in which God never got my full attention even in the hour at church, and what do I hear from Love? “Thanks for not giving up on me.”
That’s what I heard God saying to me.
The good news is we don’t need to discard our messiness
to step into this season,
and we couldn’t even if we wanted to.
Bring every bit of your flawed self
and all your chaotic circumstances to this day.
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The New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, B.C. has innovative and unusual art exhibitions. The current installation Carooney explores the impact of animated cartoons. “The seven artists in this exhibition don’t create cartoons, they deconstruct those that already exist; from Looney Tunes to The Simpsons to Charlie Brown. They exploit this potent material to reveal the inner and outer workings of our human world. . . For example, Andy Holden’s Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape is a two-channel audio-visual installation in which Holden becomes a cartoon avatar, giving both a lecture on cartoons and a cartoon lecture describing how our world is best now understood as a cartoon. This five-year project incorporates Greek philosophy, Stephen Hawking, critical theory, physics and art, the financial crisis and Donald Trump while adapting 10 laws of cartoon physics to create a theory of the world and a prophetic glimpse of the world we live in.” (New Media Gallery).