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Categories: Soft Edges
Thursday January 12, 2023
On New Year’s Day, I helped serve dinner to 120 or so homeless people in a downtown church hall. It was an oddly satisfying experience – and I hope I didn’t find it satisfying because I felt superior to them.
I didn’t have time to feel superior, anyway. I was too busy setting tables, buttering rolls, mixing salads, pouring glasses of water or juice…
And I had a great time doing it.
Why? I’ve wondered that myself. I suspect that I like to work in a kind of creative anarchy -- almost the opposite of military discipline (which, I hasten to add, is also essential sometimes).
Tags: Homeless, dinners, anarchy
Thursday January 5, 2022
So here we are – 12th Night, 2023, the end of the fabled Twelve Days of Christmas.
Originally, 12th Night referred to the arrival of the Three Wise Men – although the Bible never says there were three – from the East.
My mother’s British traditions considered it bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up after 12th Night. In an eruption of winter energy, we took down all the tinsel and tinkles, the glass balls and nativity scenes, and packed them away for the next Christmas.
Tags: Incarnation, 12th night
Thursday Dec. 29, 2022
The waxwings are back! They swirl in the air by their hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- dense clouds of feathered wings beating the air into froth.
As far as I can tell, waxwings do not have a leader giving orders. No individual waxwing says, “Okay, all of you, we’re going to go strip Jim Taylor’s tree of its berries.” They simply arrive. And then, for no apparent reason, they leave. All of them, all at once. They whoosh off, perform a variety of aerobatic manoeuvres. The cloud of birds inverts itself, reverses itself, spins upside down and sideways, emulates a Mobius strip, and returns to my tree for dessert.
Tags: leadership, Waxwings, berries
Thursday Dec. 22, 2022
And I wonder how today’s news media would treat the most famous homeless couple of all -- Mary and Joseph.
We’ve all heard the story told in the gospel attributed to someone called Luke. About how Mary and Joseph travelled from their home village of Nazareth. To Bethlehem. To be formally registered in the city of their legendary ancestor, King David.
But have you really listened to that story?
When you read that “there was no room for them in the inn,” do you hear those two little words “for them”?
Tags: Nativity, Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph