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The View From Here

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A Brush With Death

“I nearly killed a man tonight.” And just like that, the slightest of lulls in our dinner table conversation was shattered like a paper-thin sheet of ice flying off the roof of a car and colliding with a cold burst of wind. I was probably being more dramatic than I needed to be about what had happened, but it was also the truth.  Half an hour earlier, for what felt like the hundredth time, I set out to drive the well-worn route between our home and the restaurant where my sixteen year old son has been working for the past few months. Last week, I reminded him that if he would finish his driver’s training course, he could do this drive and the drive home four hours later all on his own. Imagine the freedom! (And I wasn’t even talking about him!) We’re heading into the darkest depths of winter in Southwestern Ontario, so even though it was only five o’clock, it might as well have been midnight. The street lights were on, creating a glow on the roads in the half-melted snow, and even thou

Not Done Changing

It’s March 22, 2018. Two days ago, we had our final Listen and Learn session and, by all indications, it went really well. Some of our Staff team gathered in the parking lot to debrief before heading home and we were all feeling pretty good. We made some adjustments based on our evaluation of the previous week’s event and they seemed to work. People were engaging the topic well, there was a good balance of opinions being shared around the tables, and we noticed more of an openness to sharing opinions across the spectrum. But yesterday was difficult. (Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called  The View From Here . Please follow  this link  and start reading at the oldest post,  Fear and Trembling .) The day began with an early morning small group I’m a part of with three friends from our church. We meet once every two or three weeks to check in on how we’re doing and to discuss something we’ve been reading or listening to in the time since we’ve met. It was just three o

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There are two ways I could tell this story. The first would be to wait a little while longer until I have some more clarity around how this narrative will actually unfold. This is my preferred way of sharing anything personal: wait until things have worked themselves out, and only then drill down into my experiences for whatever I think might be helpful (or at least mildly entertaining) to others. Lessons learned, victories won, tales to be told. I’m not alone in this. Most of us prefer to tell our stories from the end backwards. In the middle, things are too messy and too uncertain and, well, too raw. I had a conversation once with a friend who was in the midst of an unspeakably challenging season, and we wondered together what it would be like for him to tell his story right there in the middle of it—right there where he wasn’t even sure he would make it out alive.  And so the second way I could tell this story of mine is to do just that, to tell it from the middle, which is where I