Monthly Archives: October 2015

Where there’s a peaceful sound


I’ve just been listening to Josh Garrels (as I often do) and heard some of my favourite lyrics, from his song “Bread and Wine”.

Where there’s a peaceful sound, lonely souls hang around.

Don’t be shy, there’s nothing left to hide. Come on let’s talk a while.

These lines always make me think of the communities that I call home- The Dale, Sanctuary, and Wine Before Breakfast. I still can’t believe that I get to work and worship at The Dale, and share fellowship and worship at both Sanctuary and at Wycliffe College on Tuesday mornings with the WBB community.

I am sometimes the lonely soul being welcomed in, and sometimes the one doing the welcoming, in all three places. The peaceful sounds that are heard include the voices of folks in the community as they/we speak and sing and share the peace. The peaceful sound heard by our souls is the song of the Spirit, that continues to sing even when we are not feeling peaceful.

In all three of these places I get to share bread and wine with other lonely souls, and by sharing this Communion meal (and many other meals throughout the week), we become less lonely. We commune. We are reminded that there’s nothing left to hide, and that we can sit and talk a while.

For all of this, I am grateful.

The word of the day…and of life


It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here, as there’s been rather a lot going on within my life outside The Dale; housing changes, family changes, community and individual relationship changes. Most of these changes have been good, and also tiring… as change often is.

But I have a story that I’ve been meaning to share for weeks, and now I finally will 🙂

One Monday, I was about to head off to our meal drop in, and was telling one of my housemates how overwhelmed I was feeling by the hard things going on in the lives of people around me, and in my own head/heart. After rhyming off the list of things I was mulling over, I said, “But I know there’s hope. There has to be hope.”

When I got to drop in, a conflict that had been simmering for months erupted. Both parties felt misunderstood and wronged, and I had no clue how/if the situation could be mediated. Then, miraculously, one of the people involved suddenly came around to the other person’s point of view, and they agreed to shake hands. I was so genuinely shocked that I burst into tears, and couldn’t get my act together for a good five minutes! Both folks have been part of the Dale for a while, and this turn of events is evidence that they have both come a long way, by God’s grace. Evidence that change is possible. Hope.

A while later, a dear mentor/friend of mine came in with a gift for me. It was her “God loves Parkdale” t-shirt, and a note with this verse:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13). Hope!

I’ve had to the chance to describe my understanding of Christianity to a few new friends recently. I’ve realized that, to me, my faith all comes down to this one word: HOPE.

I believe that in the beginning there was God, God’s creation and relationships, and it was good.

I believe that in the end, there will be God, God’s new creation, and relationships, and it will be good.

In the middle, we’ve really screwed things up, for ourselves, each other and the creation with which we were entrusted.

Jesus’ life, death and resurrection mean that death, sin and despair have been defeated, and that the end of the story will be good.

Hope. It’s all we’ve really got, and it’s enough.