I have had many opportunities to minister through my writing for which I am very grateful, although I truly think that in the end, I was the one most ministered to.One of my favorite parts of being a reporter was the fact that on a daily basis I was able to interact with the public in ways that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to and allowed a door into their world of which I always felt so awkwardly grateful; like a stranger showing up on their doorstep and yet being warmly welcomed into their innermost lives. I took it for the gift that it was and always tried to listen more than I talked so as to best be able to retell their stories to others.
Some of the more poignant that come to mind:
Sitting with a war veteran who was present on D-Day as he bravely retold his experience and quietly shifting perspective to his wife’s version when he could no longer go on.
Being on scene near Mossbank Saskatchewan after two Snowbird Pilots had a collision in mid-air and then a few years later speaking with the deceased pilot's young widow when she unveiled a painting in his honour at Moose Jaw.
Interviewing the father of a young man shot and killed in the halls of his own high school in Alberta; listening to his grief and feeling awed and humbled at how his message of forgiveness was even stronger than his grief.
All of those moments and others felt holy in a sense.
I then went back to my desk and tried my best to put such heartfelt thoughts into words for the newspapers’ readers. I wanted to make them feel even a measure of what I had felt listening to these stories, but quite honestly I don’t think I ever did it justice. Thus is the life of a writer; we feel so deeply either our own stories or those of others, but then comes the committing of it to paper and sometimes it seems as if there are no words adequate enough; to really bring to life what we could sense in the heart. But still it is what we do and what we strive for. What I strive for. It is a sort of casting out of our words in the hopes that they will reach someone, like a message in a bottle and help them in some way. One of my favorite poetic verses is; ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.’ Eccl:11:1. As writers let’s continue to cast out our stumbling, inadequate words out upon the waters of God’s grace and in faith believe that He will use them in some way to minister to others.