A Season of Blessing: For Those who Grieve

How are we to respond to the loss, sorrow and grief that swirls around us right now?

I’ll be honest, I have often tried to shut out grief. When my father died at the end of 2018, I put on a ‘brave face’, trying to ignore the raw wound in my heart. I also have a tendency to shy away from other people’s grief, avoiding making calls or visiting a friend in the wake of a loss or tragedy. But this is not the vulnerable, courageous and engaged life God calls us to. Continue reading

Letter to my Future Grandchildren

One day in the distant future I will be napping in a chair, book on my lap and reading glasses perched at the tip of my nose. One of my (hopefully many) grandchildren will sidle up to me and say, “JoJo*, what was it like to live through the pandemic of 2020?” My memory—already a somewhat redundant asset in my late-40’s—will be even hazier then and I might struggle to mutter more than, “a difficult time, my dear…yes, yes, very difficult indeed.” Which is why I have decided to write my grandchildren a letter now … in 2020, the actual time they will one day ask me about.

And this is what I want them to know: Continue reading

Praying Leunig’s Prayer in our Time of Crisis

Last week I thought I was finished with Leunig’s Prayer. Not finished in terms of living it out, of course, but finished in my line-by-line journey through it. Then the world suddenly became a whole lot scarier. The Corona virus (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic. The number of cases in South Africa began a steady and steep climb. Borders were closed. Flights were cancelled. Social distancing became the new catch-phrase. All my networks and groups were flooded with information and advice on the virus, and my most used emoji was the mask face because it was relevant to just about every discussion (Corona being almost the sole topic of conversation). It began to dawn on me then that Leunig’s prayer could be a blessing and an anchor when applied to this time of crisis. So, I’m revisiting it one last time as a springboard to my own prayer in these uncertain times. May we draw out a few more gems of understanding as we face these uncertain times together. Continue reading