Archive for June, 2016

My newsfeed has been flooded with devastating news…attrocities happening around the world, children snatched from their parents and injured or killed, senseless violence continues to happen and it feels overwhelming…

I’ve spent less time on Social Media than I usually do because the majority of the news I read is upsetting.  Hate crimes seem to be rampant; one of the most devastating was the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.  A gunman opened fire and killed 49 people, injuring another 50.  Mainstream media are having difficulty naming it for what it is…a hate crime.  A man opened fire in a gay club because he had seen two men kissing and it had enraged him.

He was called mentally unstable.  He was called an Islamic fanatic.  The truth is, he was a man filled with hate.  And the crime he committed was not a crime of passion, but a crime of hatred.

All around the world there have been demonstrations of solidarity; the Tony awards paid tribute to the victims of the senseless crime.  A showing that love always wins.  A barrage of pride flags adoring websites, and being flown from flag poles all over the globe.  One man’s hatred is being overshadowed by many people’s love.

And yet, I have seen three separate instances of “Christians” saying that the 49 killed were not enough.  Of celebrating the gunman as a hero.  In the name of God.  In the name of Jesus.  That is NOT okay.

I am a Christian.  I am a proud Christian.  And the God I worship is one who is about love…not hate.  The Christ to whom I pledged my life gave us two commandments; to love God, and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.  There’s no room for hate when we love.

So to my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, I stand beside you.  I walk with you.  I love you as God loves you and please, don’t let ANYONE take that from you.  These narrow minded pastors are not of God.  They don’t speak for God.  They are not Christian.  They are hatred.  And love always wins.

Please, if you disagree or don’t understand “alternative lifestyles” don’t think you have the right to kill someone.  You have the right to your opinion.  You have the right to not understand.  But you do NOT have the right to hurt someone else because of your ignorance.  Sexuality is as biological as eye colour, nose size and handedness.  And for the record, there is more written about left-handedness then homosexuality in scripture.

Stop taking the sacred word of scripture and twisting it out of context to support your bigoted and hateful ways.  Love always wins.

There are people who don’t believe I should be ordained because of my gender.  They hate me because of it.  I can’t do anything about that hatred, but I can love.  And I do.

Take heart my sisters and brothers; we will not forget those of you who stand up to hatred and violence every day.  We will speak up for those who fear to walk alone at night.  We will hold the hands and march alongside those who only want to live their authentic life.

There are those who will live in fear and will lash out.  Our reply must to be respond with love.  It’s not easy to turn the other cheek.  It’s not easy to stand up to bullies, but together we can.  We must.

Because, in the end.  Love always wins.  O Lord, hear our prayers.

Read Full Post »

my Dad died.  It was a “good death”.  He simply stopped breathing.  His wish had been to die alone and he did.  My Dad was a stubborn man, and I inheirited that remarkable trait.  For some reason I’ve been thinking of my Dad a lot this past year, especially when I was moving across the country.

On that day my Mam and I had been to the cemetery to make arrangements for interment.  We stopped by the hospital and chatted with Dad.  Mam had some time with him while I chatted with the nurses.  We knew the end was coming but didn’t know if it was hours or days.  When dad finished his conversation with Mam he winked at her…something he had not done in a long time.  Something he used to do often when they were courting.

I asked if it was okay for us to go to our next stop, the funeral home.  He said to go ahead, he wasn’t going anywhere.  Dad believed in being organized, another trait I inheirited.  I told him we’d be back in a couple of hours, he said not to worry.  As we concluded the conversation I said “Dad, I -” and he interrupted with “Shut it!”  I laughed and said I’d see him soon.  He replied “Take it easy”.  His signature response.

My Mam and I went to the funeral home to make arrangements, leaving dates blank.  Pages and pages of administrative details were signed off and then I took Mam home for a cigarette and a decent cup of tea.  I called the hospital from Mam’s and the nurse told me Dad had died about 45 minutes earlier…peacefully.  We were in the funeral director’s office at the time.

I told my Mam.  She started to cry.  I called my brother and spoke with my sister-in-law who said she’d tell him.  I called the funeral home and told the funeral director we needed to get things started.  She was shocked.  So were we.

The next few days were a blur with arrangements, conversations, visitors, shopping for a funeral suit, dress, shoes, writing a homily for my Dad…and of course, choosing music and readings for the service.

I think Dad would have been pleased with the send off he received.  Many of his colleagues were there, and many of his former students.  My brother gave a great eulogy and I gave a homily and when we were finished the Legionnaires formed an honour guard and laid poppies on a wreath.  The Sgt at Arms and I presented my Mam with the first poppy pinned and then we played Frank Sinatra singing “My Way”.  Very poignant as Dad always did things his way.

I’ve a busy day today as it’s Sunday.  But when my work day is over I will go to a local pub and raise a pint to my Dad.  I can’t get Labbatt Blue here (thanks be to God), but I will raise a pint of local lager to him.

I love you Dad.  I miss you.  Take it easy.

Read Full Post »