My house overlooks the beautiful Muskoka River. Since moving here three years ago, I’ve made a practice in my morning quiet time of gazing out the window (or in good weather, sitting outside) to enjoy the beauties of nature, and waiting for—and expecting—something unusual to strike my attention.
In early December the Reverend Philip Croswell stood at the front window watching a light snow sift through the darkening day. At least, Alice assumed he was watching the snow, until he spoke.
In 2014 I published a book of Christmas stories entitled Twenty-One Candles. To mark the beginning of Advent, what follows is an excerpt from my favorite story in that collection, “In the Stillness of the Night.” All you need to know is that the main character, Paul, is falling in love with a Polish woman, Agnieszka.
A man lived all alone in a beautiful castle. His fortress had sturdy walls of stone, many towers with fine turrets, a moat and drawbridge, and a parapet with a long walkway.
My childhood friend, Dave Raymond, died at 67, having spent his last decade struggling with a rare neurological disorder called Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), which gradually destroys a person’s ability to understand language. When Dave finally lost all ability to communicate either with spoken or written words, he became a prisoner in his own body.
Here’s my attempt to resolve, in a poetic parable, that old riddle of predestination versus free will. See what you think. (By the way, alia iacta est is Latin for “the die is cast”.)
I’ve been reading Sadhu Sundar Singh, the great Indian Christian mystic and evangelist. Here is a selection from his luminous devotional writings: