April 29, 2020

Staying Connected in Difficult Times

Now more than ever we can see the importance of staying connected.
It is very interesting to see how so many people are using ZOOM, Facetime or other technologies to keep in touch - perhaps now more than they did pre-Covid 19.

Your InScribe family is also here to connect with you!  Many of you already take advantage of these benefits of membership, but in case you haven't please see below!

Ways to connect within InScribe: 

Facebook Group
Ask to join our InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Members Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/75980688935/
Join in the conversation, and keep abreast of upcoming events. Keep in mind that this is a members only group so make sure your membership is up to date! 

Facebook Page
What’s the difference between a group and a page? Groups are meant as a place for interaction among members – a place for people to ask questions and comment, while pages are often more focused on announcements etc. and are moderated by the ‘owners’. Both are good places to find out about what is happening in InScribe. Our page can be found here: InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship - https://www.facebook.com/CanadianWriters/

InSide InScribe
Periodically, we will be sending out a newsletter called InSide InScribe. It’s another way to stay in tune with what is happening in terms of events, contests, and other news of interest. Please check your email inbox as well as your spam folder. Recently, we sent a poll to members asking how you would respond to a virtual conference. We want to know, so make sure you take the time to give your feedback! it is important to us! As well, we are using this platform to deliver the pdf version FellowScript magazine - now available to ALL members!

Yahoo Group or ‘Listserv’
Join the ‘listserv’! New members are sent an invitation so that they can join our ‘yahoo’ email group. This is one place to share writing-related resources, ask questions, share good news, or anything else writing related. We also make important announcements such as upcoming contests, contest winners, upcoming events and so on. (If you want to participate in the Word Challenges, you will want to join this group!) 

Writing Groups & Writing Buddies 
Many writing groups meet across the country and some ar even hosting online meetings during this time of physical distancing. For a complete list of groups check the website. Interested in a 'one-on-one' writing buddy and encourager? Again, find out how to sign up for this benefit of membership on our website. 

If you are feeling alone, reach out to someone today!

April 28, 2020

In Spite of Our Fears, Spring still arrived _ Bruce Atchison

I see that all the usual events in God's creation have come to pass. The days lengthened and the sun's warmth has melted the snow. The migrating birds returned and all birds are pairing up to start the next generation. They aren't worried about a flu from a distant land and depression-level unemployment.

Though we're bombarded with frightening news, our Lord and Master reminded us of the Father's care in Matthew 6:25 (BBE). "So I say to you, Take no thought for your life, about food or drink, or about clothing for your body. Is not life more than food, and the body more than its clothing?"

Likewise the Apostle Paul knew on whom he depended. That's why he reminded his beloved saints in Philippians 4:19 (BBE) to trust in the Lord, "And my God will give you all you have need of from the wealth of his glory in Christ Jesus."

I know from personal experience that it's easy to quote scriptures but hard to live them. Even so, the author who wrote Hebrews 13:5 (BBE) said, "Be free from the love of money and pleased with the things which you have; for he himself has said, 'I will be with you at all times.'"

Of course some folks can be inconsiderate when parroting Bible passages. A certain church elder angered me whenever she quoted Psalms 37:25 (BBE) at me when I had no money for food. "I have been young, and now am old, but I have not seen the good man without help, or his children looking for bread."

The church I attended also gave me twenty-one-year-old jam and a tin of spinach from 1957. The jam wasn't bad but I refused to eat that spinach, fearing botulism. Even so, I survived.

As a consequence of poor counsel, God seemed stingy to me. Nobody back in the seventies taught me about the Father's sovereignty and providential provision for his children. That errant congregation treated the Father like a vending machine which used faith as its coinage.

I know better now and I praise God for whatever happens. I know it's for his glory and the strengthening of my trust in him.

April 27, 2020

Season of Reminders by Lorilee Guenter

The sound of rain,
a fresh breeze,
a flowers first blush.
spring renewal begins.

Spring reminds me there is a season for everything. After a season of dormancy, new life emerges. God does not leave things dead and decayed. Yet if the crocuses push through the earth too soon, they can not survive. They must follow the schedule set for them. When they do the fields and hills covered in color bring joy to those who see them.

Spring not only brings a reminder of God's timing this year but also of God's provision. Just as the flowers of the field have what they need to survive, so do I. Yet I struggle and I strive over and over again. I want things in my timing and my way. I struggle and feel like I lose ground. Ideas dry up like plants in a drought ravaged landscape. Fear takes root in the barren soil. Its roots penetrate deep into my brain...
...unless I pause and accept the rest of dormancy.
...unless I rest in God's timing and let Him weed out the fear and replace it with His peace.
...unless I trust.

With spring's arrival this year, I am reminded that like the flowers my ideas come with time, at the right time and in the right place to thrive. All of God's provisions come when we need them for our benefit and our growth.

April 26, 2020

No Fear - Marnie Pohlmann

Have you ever been afraid?
Not the my-brother-jumped-out-and-scared-me-fear but life-changing fear. When-your-heart-is-pounding-so-loud-you-are-sure-everyone-can-hear-it fear. Running-through-prickly-brambles-to-get-away fear. Hitting-and-kicking-fighting-for-your-life fear. Unable-to-move-holding-your-breath fear. Wide-eyed, unbelievable fear.

I have been afraid. Childhood fear of a late-night visitor. Parent fear of my blue-tinged baby girl not breathing in her crib and fear of my unborn son not living to birth. Fear of my husband not living through a motorcycle accident, and of him needing a ventilator to keep breathing, and of him not beating cancer. I have been afraid for myself and for others.

Today, we see many people are in fear. Fear of an invisible illness. Fear for loved ones who are at risk. Fear of losing investments, their job, or their home. Fear of the change this pandemic is forcing in the way things work in our world. Fear of today and for the future, for themselves, and for others.

We hear both Christians and non-believers fearing this pandemic indicates the end times. We see people angry at the restrictions placed on their lives. We see them attacking the ones they love and those they do not even know. We hear of those who are taking drastic, fatal measures to end their uncertainty. We see hopelessness.

How did the disciples feel after the death of Jesus, before the women burst in to tell them Christ has risen?  Most of the disciples were gathered, hiding in fear. Fear of being arrested and put to death, as their Rabbi had been. Grieving all their expectations of the future that were not to be. Confused at the change of burying their Saviour brought to what they believed. Fear of what that loss meant for them, and for their community. Perhaps they were even hopeless.

But the relief when they finally understood what their loss had accomplished! Christ defeated death, has risen, and provided the only sacrifice suitable and needed in order to bring us once again into the presence of God. Sadness and despair ended when the Spirit of God brought power into the room, into these believers.

This was life-changing. This was world-changing! 

Some of you have recently participated in the season of Lent, and although we have since celebrated Easter, you may still feel that we remain in Lent. Sacrificing and waiting. Or do you feel like the disciples in those hours between Jesus’ death and the confirmation of his resurrection? Confusion, uncertain of what to do, and fearful. Even questioning if what you believe is true or makes any difference at all to your life, to the world?

I urge you to think instead of “the rest of the story.” Christ is risen. The Spirit of God is with us, in us. When the disciples experienced this the world was changed, and the difference it made in their lives is the difference it can make in our lives today.

Yes, situations that cause fear can and will enter our lives. Even as followers of the All-powerful, Sovereign God, we will still experience times of fear. Does fear in your life make you flee, fight, or freeze? These are common, expected responses, yet believers are not called to any of these responses.

God asks us to face fear by standing firm, being at peace, and sharing.

God said to Joshua, and says to us,
“Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.”
(Joshua 10:25a NIV)

Jesus said to his disciples, and this same message is to believers today,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the
world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be fearful.”
(John 14:27 NIV)

Whether or not we can leave our homes, we can still “go into all the world” to share the Good News. This is an opportunity to show, to live, the Hope we have. This Hope provides a changed life despite and beyond illness, isolation, and despair. As Christian writers, we already have the tools needed, in a time of socially distant relationships, to share this Hope.

Hope that is life-changing. Hope that is world-changing!

Friend, we can live today with no fear. Be confident in and share the Hope and Peace of God.

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay.com

Marnie Pohlmann lives, works, and writes in northern British Columbia, presently from home. While she has not posted on her personal blog, Phosphorescent, for a long while, perhaps the present pandemic changes to how we communicate will encourage her to share in that way more often. After all, this post suggests we as Christian writers are called to do just that, each in our unique way.

April 25, 2020

Waiting.....By Sharon Heagy

What a wacky world we are living in right now. It all seems so surreal, like we are in some weird post apocalyptic movie. And here on the farm the world is also upside down as we are completing our fall harvest in the spring.

We have been waiting. Waiting since the 22 of October when the weather turned. Waiting all winter long. Hope would surge in our hearts each time the sun would shine and the snow would melt and conditions improved to the point of “We will try it tomorrow”. But every time we were on the cusp of combining, the clouds would roll in with more snow, and the waiting cycle would begin again. Finally, the day arrived, and we are able to slip and slide around the field to reap the grain that is a little worse for wear but still with enough quality to provide a little income. It was worth the wait.

The Bible is full of waiting. Noah, waiting for the flood waters to recede. Joseph waiting for vindication and for his dreams to come to pass. David waiting to become king. The disciples, waiting in confusion for the resurrection and then waiting yet again for the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And when His people wait, the Lord always proves faithful. And when they do not, it proves to be disastrous.

Consider Saul, who, instead of waiting for the Lord, took matters into his own hands and lost his kingdom. (I Samuel 13) And what about the prodigal son who couldn’t wait to receive his inheritance and ended up eating pig slop. (Luke 15) Isaiah tells us that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31)

Now we are all waiting. Waiting to move forward into whatever shape the world will take post pandemic pandemonium. But we need not be confused or anxious or impatient as we wait. This virus is no surprise to God and he will get us through it if we wait on Him. We have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us and teach us and comfort us. I read a quotation the other day that struck a chord with me. It was written by a fellow blogger who goes by the title ‘teamd2d; “God is not asking you to figure it out. God is asking you to trust that He already has.”

God knows. He knows the beginning from the end and every moment in between. We just have to trust and wait. While we are waiting we can do a couple of important things of to pass the time.

1. We can spend time with God. Lean in and get close. Listen. Talk. Have a conversation. Sing. Read the word. Meditate. Grow. Let Him hold us in His righteous right hand. Cuddle with the King. Embrace the Father instead of fear.

2. Reach out. To neighbours, friends, family. Fill the needs. Walk the walk. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) There is a harvest on the way.

3. Support our spiritual siblings. Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We can be the encourager, the prayer warrior, a shoulder to cry on. Let the Holy Spirit flow through us to provide comfort and care. Be available.

And wait. “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) In the end, we may emerge a little worse for wear but emerge we will, and, because God always has a plan, it will be worth the wait.

April 24, 2020

Road Worthy by Valerie Ronald

Travel has a way of drawing out internal thoughts. As the body is engaged in getting to a destination, the mind has time to ponder and explore away from daily routine. On a seven mile journey by foot from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a few days after Jesus’ crucifixion, two of His disciples discussed the internal thoughts closest to their hearts. Shoulders slumped, feet scuffing the dusty road, faces sad and perplexed, their demeanor spoke their discouragement. They had put their hope in Jesus of Nazareth as the one who was going to redeem Israel, but He had been arrested, crucified and buried, and His body probably stolen for His tomb was now empty. With the road stretching before them, their conversation was tinged with sorrow and confusion. (Luke 24:13-35 NIV)

In the aftermath of a life-shattering event, we want to study it from all angles, dissect the details, try to figure out the why and how and now what. Somehow it gives us a sense of control to analyze the facts and search for answers, preferably with someone who can commiserate with us. Processing a traumatic event turns our focus inward.

The two walking to Emmaus were so absorbed in their discussion, they probably did not notice a fellow traveler until He came alongside them. Wrapped in a robe, dusty and windblown, like themselves, they did not recognize Jesus. Even though it was Jesus they were discussing, seeing Him in person was the farthest prospect from their minds. Although He had spoken of it often, His resurrection was an impossibility to them.

When we are caught up in our own problems, trying to cope with an imperfect reality, we can miss Jesus walking beside us. Life narrows our vision to focus on looming bills, a serious medical diagnosis, a fractured relationship, a worldwide crisis. Even when we fail to recognize Him, He is beside us through all the difficulties because He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)

Still disguised, Jesus gently chided the two on the road for being foolish and slow of heart. In modern terms, He advised them to look at the big picture. Then painting the big picture in words, “He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27) And they were
still not aware it was Him.

When all I can see are the problems right in front of me, the best thing I can do is adjust my spiritual lens, go wide angle and take in all of who Jesus is, what He has accomplished and what He has promised for the future. His story is woven throughout the Bible from the first word to the last. Reading it reminds me of the providence of God so clearly demonstrated in the life of His son Jesus, which means I can trust Him for my life too.

The two travelers warmed to their wise companion as they walked. They entreated Him to stay with them and have a meal. “He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31)

This part of the story touches my heart, because it was in the act of thanksgiving and sharing bread that Jesus revealed Himself. And He will continue to reveal Himself as we practice thanksgiving, focusing on the One who has given us all things. We are called to give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thess. 5:17) Thanksgiving points us to Jesus, our true north, who guides us into all truth.

Finally they put the two together. Jesus, the man who walked to Emmaus with them, once dead and now alive, was the Messiah, fulfilling all the prophecies in Scripture. Their hearts burned within them with this revolutionary knowledge.

The story of the two on the road to Emmaus is our story too. Often blind to the presence of Jesus right beside us, we listen to His story in Scripture, but until we thank Him for His body broken and His blood poured out for us, we cannot see who He really is. When we finally recognize our constant companion, our hearts will burn within us --- with love, with gratitude and with worship.

Valerie Ronald lives in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. She is a graduate of Vancouver’s Langara College journalism program, and has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, public speaker and bookstore employee.Valerie finds being a member of the Manitoba Christian Writers Association has honed her writing skills and confidence. She writes devotionals for her home church bulletins and her online blog. Her current book project chronicles how God’s faithfulness saw her through the dark valleys of divorce and cancer. Along with her husband, Valerie enjoys spending time with their blended family and six grandchildren.She is a nature photographer, water colorist, cat lover and Scrabble addict.

More of her devotionals can be read on her blog   https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com

April 23, 2020

A Spring Isolation Walk by Joylene M Bailey


Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash


I step out my front door and marvel at the matted brown grass on my lawn. Just a few days ago, there was two feet of snow here. It’s a puzzle. But it’s not a puzzle I need to figure out. I’m just glad spring has truly and definitely arrived in my neighbourhood.

The back alleys around here have been paved since last spring and, while I do love the natural look of two tracks through the grass and gravel, it’s a joy to travel this path without slogging through mud and dirty puddles. 

The breeze is just enough to lift my isolation-length hair off my collar, but not enough to hug my sweater around me. And the air is refreshing. Wait, is that eau de fresh-baked bread wafting by?


The joyful heart sees and reads the world 
with a sense of freedom 
and graciousness.
Despite all the difficult turns on the road, 
it never loses sight 
of the world 
as a gift.
John O'Donohue


There’s no traffic down these back alleys and, most surprising of all, it’s a great place to meet neighbours I’ve never met before. One man is out puttering near his garage. We exchange information on the state of our families. Everyone is healthy in my house. How about yours? Yes, yes, we are all well.

Farther on, a woman stands on her back step calling to her neighbour across the fence, “Hey Ward! How you doing? Ward! Hey, Ward!” Ward doesn’t hear her, he’s too busy hosing down his driveway. 

When she spies me, she says, “Isn’t it amazing? I can’t hear the traffic on the Henday. I don’t remember it being this quiet in the neighbourhood since we moved in.” 

I guess there are pleasant points to a pandemic. 


Add Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

There are at least five dog-walkers out on the main streets that cross the maze of back alleys I’m taking. They wave or nod or say a short hello. But they don’t stop to chat. I find myself wondering if that’s because of the current self-isolation in effect, or if it’s because I’m not walking a dog.

A couple of children whiz by on their bikes, single file. They give me a furtive glance. Obviously, they’ve been warned about the six-foot rule. I hear other children behind a fence, bantering back and forth in the high-pitched voices I usually hear drifting from the school playground. Two doors down, on a raised deck, an almost-grown girl giggles into her cell phone. 


Image by Lori Clouse from Pixabay

On the home stretch I stop behind our house. I soak up the sun-warmed surface of the fence as I peer over it into our sunroom, where hubby has set up his self-isolation home office. I wave wildly, trying to get his attention, but he is absorbed in a web-ex meeting with other grocery company executives, collectively finding their way through a corona-made obstacle course.

Not all the heroes are on the front line. 

Our windchimes bing-dong as though to say see you soon and I head towards the end of the alley. At the corner, a wren high in a towering poplar sings its tuneful song in reply to a similar song nearby. I try to find him in the tangle of limbs and branches, but I can’t. 


Look at the birds of the air;
 they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26 NIV

Half a block later I’m back at my front door. My home welcomes me like an old friend. We have been very close these last several weeks. She has sheltered me and provided me with all kinds of things to do, places to sit and work and be. Being is what we are still doing, despite isolation and six-foot rules. Being neighbourly, being active, being reflective. Carrying on. Life is different right now, but the world is still beautiful. God is still there. Still here.


Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 


Joy enjoys her back-alley walks in Edmonton, Alberta, where she is self-isolating with The Cowboy and Babe. Most of her writing projects have been put on hold during this season as she creates community in isolation with her Tea-Time blog posts at Scraps of Joy.

April 22, 2020

Awakenings of a Deroche Spring Morning by Alan Anderson

“From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised (Psalm 113:3).”

My wife, Terry, and I live in gorgeous British Columbia in an area known as the Fraser Valley. We live in a small community called, Deroche. We love living here. Farmland, mountains, and the mighty Fraser River surround Deroche. There are evergreen and deciduous trees as far as the eye can see

This morning (April 10, 2020) I climb out of bed with a specific purpose in mind. Around six-thirty I dress, grab my camera, and head for the dike. The dike is a five-minute walk from where my wife and I live. My purpose for rising early is to snap a few shots of sunrise. The dike follows the meander of the Dewdney Slough, our nearby local water body.

This is a gorgeous time of the year on the dike. In fact, there is no time of the year on the dike that isn’t gorgeous. Spring has its own unique splendour and beauty in this part of the Fraser Valley. I never tire of living in this area. I walk the dike for a few minutes until I pause. Sights that remind me this is a time of awakenings favour my eyes.

Deciduous trees awaken from slumber, shake off the cold of winter, and bud. The grass now stands upright after months of lying low on the ground. I see ducks and Canada geese floating in the slough without a care in the world (well, perhaps except for eagles in the area). The surrounding mountains stand unmoved as the protectors of the Valley. Their usual evergreen attire is always in fashion.

I walk a few metres more then it happens. The sun arises and greets the morning. I am aware of the songs of many types of birds. I see my buddies the robins. Not too far away a few pesky starlings let their presence known. Black-capped Chickadees join in the chorus to welcome the sun. The sun is in fact, the star of the morning.

I hold my camera steady and wait for the right moment. The sun is an expert tease. The glow becomes brighter as I wait. As if all of a sudden God’s morning star pulls out all the stops to nature’s chorus of glee. My brief glare into the sun’s brightness draws a view of molten gold to my mind. I am awakened from awe to an overwhelmed desire to put my camera into action.

I am terrified for a moment I may have missed a magnificent shot. I click my camera, and it captures a moment of glory. Creation sings to God in the morning and now my eyes, mind, heart, and camera hold His praises close.

I walk home at a slow pace as if I never want the moment to end. I open my porch door and enter my house. The oven clock tells me it is just a few minutes after seven o'clock. Wow, all that excitement, glory, and praise in less than an hour. The awakenings of a Deroche spring morning are an experience to behold. Perhaps one day you will join me!


April 21, 2020

Grateful Despite Spring's Tease - Tracy Krauss

Spring has been taking it's sweet time around these parts! While it's sunny out today, we got snow just the last week! While flowers are blooming elsewhere, that ain't happenin' here in northern BC!

However, spring can still bloom in our hearts. I am so thankful for the warmth and care of family and friends. I have two more grandbabies on the way (we'll be up to seven by the end of 2020!) and I am blessed to have all four of my children live within a short driving distance. (Not that that is doing me much good these days, with physical distancing!) 

I am grateful for a job. With so many out of work, I am basically carrying on as usual since I already worked from home as an online teacher consultant. As well, my husband has been working non-stop these past several weeks. He normally is away for two weeks at a time and lives in a camp, but he will be gone for a record nine weeks by the time he returns home in May. His employer made the decision to keep its employees in one place for an extended period rather than have them coming and going. Although living as a single person is not my favourite thing, we are grateful that he has been able to work and that we can talk or video call each other every night. 

I am grateful for health and relative freedom from pain. As many of you know, I was hospitalized in January for two weeks with recurring heart issues. I was pretty much home bound afterwards even before Covid 19 hit, but I have learned to listen to my body and have been able to get out walking and carrying on in a fairly normal fashion thanks to modern pharmaceuticals and a bit of stubbornness. I'm grateful that I was able to get all of that sorted out before restrictions on medications came into effect. 

I am also grateful for all this wonderful time I have on my hands to pursue my varied interests. Writing, sewing, painting, playing the piano... and I've even started learning a second language through Rosetta Stone! I decided it was time to quit procrastinating or using my age as an excuse. As my 87 year old friend Jacqueline used to say, "Age is irrelevant!" She climbed mountains, travelled, and tried new things - all while looking very stylish I might add - never frumpy - right up until the day she died. 

Yes, there is much to be thankful for, even if spring is teasing us here. I thank the Lord everyday for another day to worship Him!

Tracy Krauss is currently serving as InScribe's president and writes from her home in Northern BC. https://tracykrauss.com  -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-

April 20, 2020

I’m going to need more – Denise M. Ford

“I’m going to need some more,” my granddaughter, Violet said, as she barely chewed through the first chocolate covered peanut butter egg. One little taste and she could barely contain her enjoyment. She couldn’t wait to have more inside of her! Her eyes lit up; her tongue rolled over her lips as she blurted out her desire.

I hadn’t planned to make the traditional homemade Easter candy this year. Everything about celebrating Easter this year seemed in upheaval, in chaos. One less task to do amid this Covid virus crisis gave me a welcome sigh of relief.

And then my one son casually texted, “we’ve been dreaming of your Easter candy!” Dreaming? I suppose we all have our moments these days in which we conjure up ideas of how to escape the anxiety, fear, pent-up frustrations and general lack of control over this viral disease. A holiday amidst a pandemic brings an overwhelming desire to still have something around us that seems normal, calming, traditional. We cannot gather to worship together or for an extended family meal but surely, mom, surely you will make the Easter candy?

I’m not sure what it says about me that my pantry just happened to have all the necessary ingredients. Actually, I do know. I am a make-it-from-scratch cook who likes to have items that will fall easily into recipes. Coconut, chocolate chips, icing sugar, peanut butter—when I use up the last of these, I quickly restock so they can be ready for use the next time.

The one outstanding item, crème cheese, had yet to be found. I scoured my fridge hunting in the far corners. No not there, but happily I discovered and found some in the freezer, probably bought when it was on sale. I now had everything I needed. So, I made chocolate covered peanut butter and coconut crème eggs.

During this time, we often Facetime or send selfie videos to the grandkids, but since we had to deliver the candy, we decided that we could attempt a porch visit with little Finn and Violet. Fortunately, I managed to scrounge up an old truck book and some construction toy vehicles from my sons’ old things. I had a craft kit in my Nana’s stash for Violet. We drove over to their house on a sunny afternoon. Little Finn tried over and over to back up into our laps so we could read the truck book with him. But he had to settle for a somewhat distanced page-through that soon failed to entertain him.

To keep them occupied while the adults visited, the kiddies drew coloured chalk pictures on the sidewalk. We had to cut the time short, so we didn’t unknowingly pass any viral germs between us. Air hugs and kisses sufficed for the time being, but we all achingly knew we wanted more. A taste of a Nana and Pop-Pop visit didn’t seem to be enough. We all wanted more.

I find that is at the heart of this pandemic. We all want more. We want more hope, more patience, more comfort, more normalcy. More scientific facts, more reassurance, more ability to do the right thing for each other. More control.

“I’m going to need some more,” our hearts boldly cry out.

My niece a doctor on the front lines in the emergency room with Covid patients in a crowded Pennsylvania hospital---she needs more protective gear so at the end of her shift she can go home to her 3-year old daughter and 2-year old foster child.

My 89-year old mother needs more purpose and more confidence that she can still protect her loved ones, as she sews medical masks for every member of her family and all her elderly friends.

My sister needs more time as she heads back to New Jersey as a nurse in a Veteran’s Home, following a visit to help her other daughter who just gave birth to her second son.

My son a teacher, requires more patience with his students and their parents as he navigates the virtual classroom from his home.

His wife desperately needs a Nana visit so that she can be refreshed in her role as a new mother.

My other son and wife need more assurance that their children will remain healthy while continuing in care at a small day home, so they can maintain work-at-home schedules to continue to pay the mortgage.

My dear friends in places where the Covid outbreak has been overwhelming and frightening need more faith and confidence in the loving heart of God.

I need more capacity to be calm as I struggle with a new diagnosis that means I am immune compromised and more vulnerable to this deadly virus.

The world needs more help, for the unemployed, the ones already sick, the ones who have died. For the essential workers on the frontlines…

We all need more; we need to hold on tighter and more firmly to the promises that God remains steadfast and true despite this horrific pandemic. In our moments of ultimate meltdowns, we all need more, we need to be rescued.

On Good Friday my husband and I called my mother in Pennsylvania. We invited her to “attend our church service” at Westlife Church in Calgary via her laptop. She uses it as a way of staying in touch with our family in Canada having Facetime calls receiving texted photographs of her great grandchildren. But going to church on-line presented a new challenge for her. Thankfully we managed to patiently guide her through the steps to participate with us using her laptop. After the service, we looked toward Easter, we felt that we had received more of Christ when we needed Him most.

One of the scriptures from Good Friday echoes over and over to me. Jesus wept. Jesus wept and grieved not for himself, but for us. He needs us.

Christ needs more. He needs more of us. More of our hearts responding to him. He still seeks us; He still sits with us and watches as we try to fill our hearts with what we believe we need. He hears us as we cry, “I think I’m going to need some more.”

We don’t realize he already knows what we need. He knows our “more.” He knows what to offer. His pantry remains fully stocked and ready to respond to any request. He doesn’t need a list to remind himself that he needs to provide more sustenance, more comfort. He knows how to respond.

I’ve been praying through the Psalms crying out in need. Praying for continual protection for every family member, every friend, every essential worker who sacrifices safety and sanity on behalf of another’s needs.

I grieve in advance, as Mary grieved. She knew Jesus lived on the edge of provocation every day. He either provoked anger amongst the Jewish leaders or provided hope for His worshipping followers. She knew what it meant to submit to God’s will, and she grieved for her son who had to sacrifice everything to fulfill it. She knew and although she marvelled at His healing works, His miracles which led people to trust and believe in Him, she also grieved for the heartache that surely would come. Waking up daily and not knowing if her son would be arrested or celebrated. Following His arrest, she woke up, picturing Him being tortured and mocked. She didn’t know what would happen next, so she grieved even as she prayed with hopeful yearning to the God who had provided and cared for her. She needed more.

She wanted more. She wanted a miracle, but she didn’t know what to expect. She stayed with Jesus and grieved. She stayed with him and asked for more from her God. Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus stayed too, as long as he could; praying, weeping, and asking more from God for us.

During our Good Friday service, we shared Communion by partaking at home with bread and juice. As we heard the words from scripture spoken by Jesus at the supper He shared with his disciples, we heard what we each needed. We heard His promise that He would provide more.

More comfort. More healing. More hope.

To receive it, we need to give Christ more.

More trust, more faith, more love.

My one niece brought her 2-year-old over to my mother’s back yard on Easter so he could have an egg hunt. She carried her one-month old baby over to the picture window so my mother could wave and make silly faces at him. Mother watched as older brother Connor scampered about discovering eggs here and there. Earlier, we and mother had attended church together once again on-line and over the phone. Praising together, praying together, holding onto the promises together despite distance or the lurking virus.

I told mother about little Violet tasting the Easter candy and how she knew immediately that she wanted more. We laughed and then cried together. Seems like it’s a back and forth emotional whirlwind every day.

To end our Easter phone call on a positive note, I described for her a picture that I bring to mind daily, every time I need more.

“I am on my knees in prayer and in a weeping mess. I am distraught and overwhelmed by all the needs of everyone throughout this pandemic. And then I am lifted up, embraced and held in strong arms. I breathe deeply, I am quieted by a gentleness and peacefulness that flows over and around me. I begin to have a resurgence of clarity, a sense that I am held lovingly and tenderly. And in those arms, in that amazing embrace I know Jesus gives me the some more I need.”

Easter has come. Jesus is here. He embraces us. Jesus gives us more of what we need even though we often don’t know what to ask for until the time arrives. He knows. He offers. He is here.

Go to His embrace. Trust. Feel His strength. Hope. Breathe deeply His peace. Be Forever Loved.

Do we need more? Amen and amen. Over and over again. Thank goodness He is stocked and ready. Thank goodness He provides.

Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits---who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

What do you need more of during this time? 
What did you need more of before this pandemic? 
How has your concept of more changed?