April/May cover image: Hands cupped full of topsoil with small green plant

Vol 22 No 3 April/May 2007

Columns

National Bishops's Turn

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Ida Reichardt Backman—Editor
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E-mail: editor@elcic.ca


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Careening Into Spring

I feel like I'm careening into spring this year;—the expression "a ping-pong ball in a windstorm" comes to mind—and it's only April! Bombarded with news from all sides (but isn't that how life is?), I first read about a 59-year-old woman, trapped in her snowbound car for four days, miraculously surviving on a bag of mints and snow she melted in a Tupperware container. "I guess the Lord isn't ready for me yet", she was quoted as saying.

Then I read about Quebec's Chief Returning Officer, who after saying that niqab-wearing Muslim women don't need to show their faces when they come to vote, changed his mind when he started to receive death threats. He apparently has two bodyguards accompanying him now. ("Unusual circumstances", according to Quebec's rules, allow for religious observance to override the integrity of the voting system.)

In Winnipeg, young car thieves have added another wrinkle to their lawbreaking: trying to see how close they can get to people jogging or walking on the roads. It's called "buzzing". A 49-year-old jogger is recovering from a severe head wound as a result.

Where, oh where, is the serene balance we try to maintain? The windstorm of life blows us in so many directions, some of them kindly and others not at all comforting.

Perhaps meditating on Rev. Gniewotta's article, "Living With Evil", is a way to start. Or rejoicing in the refreshing, healthful lifestyle of the Hamilton family of Armena, AB, where Ron and Sheila run an organic farm, guided by their faith in God and God's people. Or considering, prayerfully and thoughtfully, the overreaching topic of same-sex blessings in our church. Ron Friesen gives us an overview of this difficult topic, and Bishops Kristenson and Pryse present theologically-based opinions.

Spring is a time of new life, of awakening, of creation. A friend of mine who has recently discovered Annie Dillard's book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, sent me this quote extolling the profundity of God's creation:

"The world is full of creatures that for some reason seem stranger to us than others, and libraries are full of books describing them—hagfish, platypuses, lizard-like pangolins four feet long with bright green, lapped scales like umbrella-tree leaves on a bush hut roof, butterflies emerging from anthills, spiderlings wafting through the air clutching tiny silken balloons, horseshoe crabs…the creator creates. Does he stoop, does he speak, does he save, succor, prevail? Maybe. But he creates; he creates everything and anything…and the creator loves pizzazz."

Pizzazz. Now there's a word on which to pin a springtime wish. As we continue the Easter season, I hope that your life has opportunities for you to experience the marvellous creation of our world, and that you can celebrate the pizzazz that God provides for us.

Ida Reichardt Backman
Editor