Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Blog Retrospective: The Missing Person

Why is it that your nocturnal revelations are never as profound in the clear light of day as when you have them in the wee hours of the morning? I spent Sunday evening reading through every single blog post of Consider the Lilies. I decided to do it on a whim, with the idea it might give me some insight into my life. It was after 1 am before I was done reading my very first post. By that time my brain was swirling with insightful ideas, and I awakened at 6 am with my mind full of thoughts that would allow no further sleep.

Most of the insights I can't recover with the same clarity or urgency or sense. I have a vague impression that I have changed quite a bit from my earlier blog persona. I don't think I am really the same person who wrote those earnest reflections or who thanked God in the midst of a health crisis. It reminded me of a Michael W. Smith song "Missing Person" in which he sings "there was a boy who had a faith that could move a mountain and like a child he would believe without a reason. Without a trace he disappeared into the void and I have been searching for that missing person." That version of myself is gone.

I was also reading the comments on each post, which used to be more numerous. There were some people who used to comment who I don't even know if they still follow my blog. From my stats for my new posts I don't think they do. The wise and mysterious R; the classmate who shared his spiritual journey and offered help; the young poet from another country who randomly visited my blog.

Some of top posts for pageviews on my blog are rather curious. A popular post is my favourite Bible passages one. Another is the poem I wrote for my sister's birthday. Then there is my post on "dandle and dale" in which I wrote a vignette and a poem on two random words, and my post on eighties fashions and toys. I guess the relative popularity of those posts is somewhat understandable for various reasons. But why a post entitled "My Abrasive Personality" or "The 101st post" would continue to get pageviews I can't really explain. The post that was most viewed was deleted. It was about the town hall meeting that W5 held about the former Dominion Christian Centre, now One Community Church. My sister, who attended the DCC and still attends OCC, was then estranged from the family and I wrote about my impressions and feelings in a post called "Truth and Lies."

In the end, I would have a hard time deleting this blog as I have sometimes considered doing. It is a record of my life and a journal of my impressions and thoughts whether inane or profound. Some of the writing stands the test of time. And while some of my posts are intensely personal and I wonder about having them posted in a public forum anyone could potentially read, I still could not delete this blog for that reason.

Yeah I have changed over the years, for better or for worse. But I still think it is important to "consider the lilies" and I need to be reminded not to worry about my life, but to "seek first" the kingdom of God now more than ever.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Sometimes news hangs more heavily on you than other times. Like when I heard that a former kindergarten classmate had been killed by lightning while on a family camping trip. I hadn't seen him in years, but it was sad to me that he would never go to university, have a family, or fulfill more of his amazing potential. Why did it have to happen? Why was a life cut short?

That's how I felt on Tuesday when I heard the news that Tim Bosma's charred remains had been found. A sinking feeling of hope dashed. I didn't really know him. He was a grade school classmate, but he went to another high school and I hadn't heard he had gotten engaged, or married, or that he had a daughter or anything about his life since grade school. When I saw his name in the news after he went missing, at first his name didn't even register as someone I knew. I followed the story, I watched the media briefings, I posted the missing poster on my Facebook wall, I prayed he would be returned to his family. I believed that God could perform a miracle, but then on Tuesday morning I heard the worst. I didn't cry, but my heart cried out that it was senseless and that it was wrong. Why was a man stolen from his family? Why would his wife never see his face again, his daughter grow up without him?

Today the tears came while I watched a tribute to Tim. No I didn't know him, I didn't know the person he had become, but my heart grieved... I listened to CBC radio and heard his wife's emotional words as I was driving to meet a friend and tears again blurred my vision. I couldn't imagine the grief his wife, family, and friends were feeling. I don't know what it is like to lose a husband, a father, or a son, let alone in such a tragic manner. I have never had a comparable worst day of my life, a day that will change all the days to follow so irrevocably.

I can only pray that the God of all comfort will comfort them, that he will carry them through, and that somehow good will come out of unspeakable evil. I know it will be a difficult road ahead for a long time, and the wound will always be there. I know it is nothing that platitudes can soothe and I don't know why it had to happen. I can pray they can come to a place of forgiveness and I can pray for justice for Tim. I can pray they will be able to fully grieve this loss, this essential part of them that is gone. I can thank God that their faith is strong, that they have a supportive community surrounding them. Still the questions remain.

Years after the death of my classmate who had been struck by lightning, I stood in a ski chalet built in his memory and read about his short but brilliant life. I smiled as my mom snapped a picture. And I remembered.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


In my memory they live there still in the century old yellow-sided house bordered by well-tended flower beds nestled beside the rail road tracks. I remember the narrow winding green carpeted stair that creaked a complaint when you walked over the uneven steps, the cramped upstairs bedrooms with sloped ceilings, the dark-panelled living room with black moulded wood stove, long tan couch, and Grandpa and Grandma's particular chairs. There is a sliding door that leads out onto the deck and beside it is a shelf of treasured books.

Grandpa must be watering the plants in his greenhouse, and I suppose Grandma is in the kitchen preparing the noon meal. Or perhaps it is Sunday and a pot of Grandpa's famous soup simmers on the stove and Grandpa is reading a novel while Grandma relaxes with a copy of Woman's World.

I still feel we could visit them some Sunday afternoon after church. That we could eat a meal of Grandma's hamburger noodlebake with manderin orange salad and that I could sit on the couch beside my sisters and suck on a Werther's Original candy while reading about how "The Good Old Days They Were Terrible" or how "Kids Still Say the Darnedest things" listening to the conversation.

Nevermind that the old house now has other occupants and that Grandpa and Grandma had moved somewhere less memorable for their final years. I am no longer the child who delighted in a March break spent with my grandparents or who would ask for one more Werther's Original.  Nevermind that Grandpa and Grandma themselves are no longer living, Grandma having succumbed to a cancer and Grandpa following soon afterwards after caring for her so tenderly.

Because in my memory they live on in an old house surrounded by gardens just outside of the settlement of Corinth.