Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update to Darkness and Light

Our next Journey begins today and the theme of friendship will be woven through it. It will be a poignant message because our friend Lois died early this morning. She has been such a part of our team at The Journey and we are going to miss her deeply.

In darkness we look for Light, and in the face of death we also look for life. Lois lived passionately inspite of extensive health issues.

Our prayers are with her family and her community.


Darkness and Light

This week is bracketted on both sides with groups visiting Linwood House, and in between we have the women from the Downtown Eastside. Both weekend groups work directly with the marginalized as well. This directly involves the necessity of walking in the dark places with those we are all called to minister to. The light becomes more obvious, more drawing in the dark places.

So Grandma and Dorothea have been busy baking and preparing cookies, the rooms are ready, and Sue and Jen have been busy planning and preparing special activities and treats for the women this week.

In this midst of this, one of the women whose heart is hugely involved in the work with the women from the downtown eastside, and usually arrives with this group coming today, is critically ill in hospital. She has some complicated medical problems so please pray for her. Pray for our team - we will miss her help this week. It seems dark but we are seeking the Light that brings the shalom, the One who is Shalom.

Right now here on the coast the weather is dark - dull, rainy, foggy patches, cold and damp and it feels dark.

Last night at Happy Hour another story was shared, a gift offered to our group. M's story holds dark and light and the beauty of seeing her hold it out to us was enhanced by the fact that another knew the same story of dark and light and it gave her courage to know there is a safe place to tell that story.

Darkness causes fear but the Light allows us to know the presence of the Father that cannot exist in anywhere but Light.

Pray for us all as we walk beside these wounded women who will be at The Journey this week.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Perspectives and Different Glasses

These last days have been busy at Linwood. Rarely is there a day where someone does not drop by or a group is coming or going. Then there is the work that Ron and Gwen are doing at Hope Renfew, the house in town that is being remade into sacred space for women who want to leave the life of the downtown eastside and be mentored in living a life of freedom. All of it keeps us active, alive and listening!

As autumn continues to display her glorious colours and cooler temperatures, the fireplace is on more often, a pot of soup is more frequently simmering on the stove and the flowers in the garden are less plentiful.

Yet, like in a winter season, there is so much goes on beneath the surface, that is only whispered or hinted at, which is a reminder that in “sacred space”, what Linwood House is all about, the Spirit continually works.
- someone sitting at the piano and filling the house with the sound of Chopin, talent from the writer and the one playing.
- A syncopated melody of the rain outside mingled with the notes of Chopin’s First Nocturne blending the Classical and the natural.
- Pampas grass dips and sways in the breeze with such ease, and inside slippered feet whisper in passing as guests find a soft sofa or chair to snuggle in.
- One quiet gentle woman, who has visited several times, looks so alive as she shares some new avenues of creativity in her life and gives us glimpses into her heart.
- A written note tells of how safe one felt as she snuggled into a bed with a feather tick, able to sleep deeply.

“Happy Hour” – our Monday gathering of ladies in our community is evolving into a group that has committed to share story, to protect the stories that are told, and to become women who reach out to suffering women of the world. Yesterday Gwen began our time with a letter full of infectious happiness between friends (Paul’s writing to the Philippians)
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care– then do me a favour: agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
What are deep-spirited friends? How do we become one of these? Safe places for the heart have a lot to do with that along with how we love and honor our own story.
Laurie Beth Jones writes in her book Jesus Life Coach about Jesus stealing our tent. "Jesus once described himself as coming “like a thief in the night”. I love the idea of his coming to steal our tent – the tent of our limited perspective – the tent of our fragile and segmented understanding – the tent that we think is keeping us safe, but is really just keeping us from seeing the universe.”
What is the tent Jesus is taking away from me, from you, so that we can get a larger perspective on life, that allows us to see the Kingdom in action more clearly? Sometimes we were someone else’s glasses to see the world and our vision is blurry – do we wear our parents, or our spouses glasses? What about our own God given lenses to see the world – what do we see with them on?

This is just a glimpse into the last few weeks of life at Linwood House Ministries.

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