11 March 2013

Lone Leaf, Missoula, Montana

To a child, the four seasons seem so definitive. A winter scene needs only a few waxy sticks, even if you possess the coveted 64-colour box of crayons. Bare trees are black, twiggy silhouettes against a blue sky. A paper-white ground sets off a green pine next to a solid blue house with a red brick chimney.
Lately, I’ve noticed the seasons bleed one into the next, regardless of the solstice date on the calendar. Winter branches may retain clumps of faded leaves; a Chinook wind pumps temperatures to spring levels for a single day in the middle of a sub-zero week; blooming daffodils poke through a crust of sparkling snow - at least in Montana.
And isn’t it so with deeper issues of our lives? As a child, we like to believe there are obvious bad guys and good guys. But sometimes today’s good guys harbour a past that includes bad choices and far-reaching consequences. I think of this as I see my overdue reminder to write to an elderly friend who abruptly landed in prison, despite his 20-year record as a model parolee. Our daughter questioned, “But I thought he was a good guy?”
Grey technicalities and politics are tricky to explain to a teenager with a strong sense of justice. Our conversation reminded me how thankful I am of two things: that judgment is not in my hands, and that the daily demand for grace is always ready to be satisfied.


  1. So many cliche's come to mind - we don't know anyone else's story. Some times I think we don't really know our own story!!
    Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow each of us - every day of our lives. Psalm 23

  2. Such comfort and stability in that opening word, "surely".


Your thoughts, please?