just a small light

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The week draws to a close tonight and I am glad.

After the tough journey home we were contented to fall in to bed last night, somewhat exhausted. Three or four hours later we were awakened with loud music and drunken partying just outside our bedroom window. The neighbours and their many guests were intent on partying till they dropped. And they didn’t drop.

I don’t know how they can maintain a drunk as long as they are able, really. And I totally don’t get a culture where that’s what you do with your friends, all night long.

I don’t get it.

Except maybe to try to fill some empty space inside with numbing, pain dulling activities, I suppose. The kicker is that that is what their kids learn to do with their lives too, and the cycle continues on towards the abyss.

Anyway, the police didn’t stop them, and we couldn’t get any sleep in our hot room with the window closed, so we eventually just got up.

So we are tired, and one of us is very cranky because she is also getting a cough in her chest and head. And, there are five cars at the neighbours house, which causes a sick feeling in our corporate gut tonight.


And tomorrow I am talking a bit about being salt and light in a world that is often tasteless and dark. And I look at my neighbours and wonder if I have anything profound to say. We have worked to be good neighbours to them and their children, but I’m not too sure how effective that has been.


The house next door is a rental property and we have contact with the owners and I know that a few properly directed complaints would get them moved on. I believe some of the other neighbours have made complaints and we have had contact with the owners, but we are concerned that the kids, who already have enough working against them, don’t get moved around again and again.

So we do pray for them, and we try to be salt and light around the different neighbours, but days like today really test things.



Which may just underscore the depth of darkness that resides out there in the world. There have been such great depths of pain in our world these past days that it makes one almost feel hopeless.

Late in the night on a quiet run of highway in Manitoba, a 22 year old is killed on a Greyhound bus on his way home to his family.


As it would happen, the same hotel we were stuck in during our delayed flight, was the hotel that some of the passengers of that bus ride were being kept. It was also the place the family of the slain boy were being gathered. Some of them needed to talk, to say some things, to exercise some inner demons. In such a darkness, the lightness of listening can help to dispel a little of the darkness. So we did listen. Just small, informal ways we listened to some staff and family with the hope that the deep dark of their night might lift just a little bit.


But dang, the darkness is deep out there. And in such a deep darkness, even a small, flickering flame can make a huge difference.

This I know is true.

I hope it makes a difference for our neighbours one day too.


  1. We discussed in housegroup what it meant about the sins of the fathers being paid for by their children last week. I think you illustrated this rather well. :(

    I pray peace on you and yours, that listening to these stories you may be affected but not damaged. I rather think you have a lot of listening time ahead.

  2. Some days it seems as if the light I shine with is such a tiny pinprick of light and the darkness almost swallows it - but then hopefully there are those sprouts that detect it and start to grow that you used as an example this morning. It just seems so small in the crazy world of darkness. Maybe despair is a snuffing tool. It is easy to feel it descending over all the complicated situations that seem so hopeless like the basket in the parable.
    Your talk this morning got me thinking about what nurtures my light or at least positions me to reflect to others the light that comes from God.

  3. I'm glad you were there to lend your ear(s). What a sad tragedy.

    And congratulations, Rev. Spiritual Director.

    Does that mean you get a discount at Scott's parable or something? ;o)


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