Tuesday, March 29, 2016


On Monday I saw my first robins this spring, always a treat and a promise of better weather coming.  It's not been a bad spring, weather-wise.  It's pretty typical of Alberta spring weather to switch back and forth between warm, sunny days and dark, overcast days with a cold wind from the north.  The forecast for the next few days is very mild.

I also heard birdsong in the morning this week for the first time.  And pretty soon the frogs in the dugout will begin advertising themselves.  That's another spring time chorus that's so delightful to hear.  They sure make a racket!  I like to toss a stone into the water and induce the sudden silence.  A few seconds, at most a half minute and one anxious frog can't stop himself from singing out: Choose me!  Choose me!  And they all join in again.

Saturday I went to a funeral of a good friend, a farmer, just 63 years old who went out to feed his cattle, was struck from behind by a young man hurrying to hockey practice and died when he was thrown from his tractor which then rolled on him.  So Sad!!!  Such a waste!  It's called an "accident" which, from its Latin roots means "something that happens," but really, it was something that didn't have to happen.

It was a very positive celebration of his life.  It had been a good life.  He loved his family, he loved and served God, he loved farming.  His three children (all grown, with children of their own) took turns talking about him and what a loving, patient father he had been.  They shared a few good stories that had us laughing.  We will pray for his family, especially his wife who now has to adjust to living without him.  We're thankful for our assurance of our life in God, which we believe will unfold in the most wonderful way for us when we leave this life for the next life.  It's still a tragedy when a loved one dies, but there is a path through the hard times.

This funeral was such a contrast to the last one I attended, at which the family and other mourners felt they had to prayerfully beg God to admit the deceased to heaven.  It was an even greater contrast to the funeral I went to over a year ago for a dear friend and art teacher, at which God and our future was not mentioned at all.  A beautiful, empty ceremony created by people who believe that when you die, that's it.  You're gone and have no more existence.

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