lyef & thymes

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lesson from a funeral

My grandmother passed away last week, and we held a funeral for her on saturday. It was an interesting and moving service. The minister who gave the message had never met my grandmother, and tried his best to make due based on the stories from my family. But then there was the family itself. We all contributed something to the service. My cousins and I sang I'll Fly Away to start the ceremony., and a few notes into the song my grandfather, sat in the front row of course, broke down and began to weep.

Even now, sitting at a computer writing about it, the memory is so evocative. So I thought I would say a few words about it, and about my grandmother.

Gertrude Froese (nee Enns), was married to John Froese for fifty six years and they had six children together. They were both german mennonites living in Russia in the 1920's during the Russian Communist Revolution, when anyone resisting the communist manifesto was subject to terrible violence. Separately the Enns and Froese families moved to Manitoba and Saskatchewan respectively, and have lived in Canada ever since.

My grandparents lived in the Yukon together in the early days of their marriage, and then moved to Winnipeg, then back to the Yukon, then to Nova Scotia, then Ontario. They had little money, and little stability, but they had each other, and for almost six decades that was enough.

Now my grandfather is a widower, and yet as I stood singing at the front of this small room, watching him weep, I knew that he didn't weep for himself, lamenting his new sorry state. He wept because the love of his life had moved on to a place that he could not yet follow, and the separation, the loss, the absence was crushing.

Hugging him, and returning to my seat at the completion of the song, I sat beside my wife, took her hand, and allowed an entirely new depth of love for her pour into me. My grandfather's tear are an indication, a marquis displaying to any who would look and read, that a life spent in love with another is a good life, and the pain of one's passing does not diminish that love, it only serves to embed it deeper into one's soul.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Life lessons from the can

Carolyn and I have been watching over a few young children for the past week. Their parents are close personal friends of ours, and they have gone to Paris on their honey moon, finally after ten years together.

The boys we are looking after are two and four years old. This has been an eye opening experience, full of firsts for me.

-First poopy diaper change (and the second, and the third)
-First time walking a kid to school ( he likes to get close to the moving cars)
-First time my wife and I have slept in someone else's bed together ( further comment)
-First time that our sleep has been interrupted by a squealing toddler.

It has been an educational week, that's for certain. Stress is a an excellent scalpel, peeling back the layers of skin that we allow to grow over things. Being this stressed out, for this long has made both of us greatly appreciate the solitude and quiet of our home life together.

anyhoo, I think I hear a cartoon calling.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A word in season

Just had a great talk about church planting with a student in the Anglican stream. His name is John, and he is a liturgical man through and through. Nevertheless, he has chosen to learn what he can from other streams that are having more success that his own. I just shared with him for half of an hour about how TACF Central came into being.

Turns out that I have a lot more to say that I would have thought. Maybe I like church planting. Might even be passionate about it. Huh, the Lord does speak to us, and revelation often comes in unexpected forms. Sharing what we know, about something we love, ignites passion to do that thing.

Maybe church planting is in my future, Lord knows.