Second, better thoughts on “Honour the Apology”

When the invitation came via Facebook to attend “Honour the Apology,” a national day of prayer in response to news of nutritional experiments on aboriginal children through the Canadian residential school system — I responded with “Maybe.” I had time to go, but I’d “heard about” more than taken the time to “know about” this news. I have to admit I’m the type of person who likes to know what she’s getting into before she participates in causes! I remember feeling a similar large ignorance and uncertainty when I got involved in an evening of prayer and lament for sexually abused women in the Mennonite colonies of Bolivia several years ago. Continue reading

An imagined conversation

Random Person: What are you giving up for Lent?   Me: Nothing!

RP: (brightly) So you’re adding something then? Me: Not that either. (Self-deprecating smile.) Though I do keep trying to improve myself in various ways, more of this and less of that, if you know what I mean.

Patterns in the sand, Long Beach.

Patterns in the sand, Long Beach.

(Thought bubble above Me‘s head: “And whether giving up or adding, I shouldn’t be announcing it, should I? It’s a fast, and the point of fasting is the inward retreat, not looking gaunt and obvious about it, unless of course it’s a community-wide fast as it was during Christendom, which is over now, or a group-or-twosome-covenanted thing for reflection and accountability, in which case the question with its implied individuality is still unnecessary.) Continue reading

“I felt my skin turn black…”

Son P., who happened to receive a book by Henri Nouwen from us for Christmas, alerted me to a 3-part radio documentary “Genuis Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henry Nouwen,” coming up on CBC Ideas. I listened to Part I on Wednesday and commend it to you. (Parts II and III follow on Jan. 16 and 23.)

There’s a line in the first part of the documentary I can’t forget. The documentary speaks of how Nouwen came from his native Netherlands to study in the U.S. and how while there was drawn into and became supportive of the civil rights movement. On March 21, 1965 he attended a rally in Montgomery, Alabama, where he heard Martin Luther King speak. Nouwen later wrote, “I felt my skin turn black…” Continue reading