Thursday, June 25, 2009

So honest...

At the end of every school year, I ask the kids to give advice for the upcoming grade 5 class. Most of the advice is pretty straight-forward: do your homework, don't interrupt the teacher, cheer for the Oilers (that's straight-forward, isn't it?), and so on.

Some years I get humbling thoughts or encouraging remarks.

One in particular stood out today:

"Miss Van tells a lot of jokes. Laugh even when they aren't funny."

I had to chuckle. I thought it was going to say something to the effect of "so that keeps things interesting." However, apparently in order to survive grade 5, it is important to humour me and make me feel good about myself.

At least they're honest.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

About that Audible Gasp...

I send my regrets for never blogging about the audible gasp.
It's still a good story.
And one that I may choose to write about at a later date,
but for now, it will hold itself in my own memory,
to challenge me on my daily journey.

I went for a drive today.
Something I haven't done in a really long time.
Something that used to be the greatest part of summer,
the most recharging part of a holiday,
the place where I let myself shamelessly cry while reconnecting - with myself, with God, with a world bigger than my own.

Today was different.
Good all the same, but different.

Today I shed my tears before I got into my car.
So many reasons and such a big picture,
but ultimately for the loss of a friend, mentor, and gracious leader within our community; and for the family he leaves behind.
Throughout his battle with cancer
and in his funeral today,
his testimony of faith in a God whose love is rich and deep,
who is faithful,
and who holds each of us in the context of a much bigger picture
was evident and clear.
It was mentioned today that he understood grace deeply,
and lived that understanding.

The CD that was playing in my car had a few songs that made me reflective, made me sing aloud, reminded me of the peace and strength that believing in that context of grace provides, and challenged me to look ahead.

One song in particular, I played over and over.
It's a personal favourite.
And today, it answered its own prayer.

God of Grace and God of Laughter

God of grace and God of laughter,
singing worlds from nought to be
sun and stars and all thereafter
joined in cosmic harmony:
give us songs of joy and wonder,
music making hearts rejoice;
let our praises swell like thunder,
echoing our Maker's voice.

When our lives are torn by sadness,
heal our wounds with tuneful balm;
when all seems discordant madness,
help us find a measured calm.
Steady us with music's anchor
when the storms of life increase;
in the midst of hurt and rancor,
make us instruments of peace.

Turn our sighing into singing,
music born of hope restored;
set our souls and voices ringing,
tune our hearts in true accord:
till we form a mighty chorus
joining angel choirs above,
with all those who went before us,
in eternal hymns of love.