Category Archives: Church

“Day in Court”

I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie. 


The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago. 

Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”. 

I blurted out, “15 years old sir”. 

All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall. 

The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows. 

I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager. 
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him? 
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key? 

What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing! 
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.

There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail. 

Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you. 

Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.


RIP GJR 

Peace. 

Living In TensionĀ 

True personal growth comes when you choose to honestly communicate and understand those you have conflict with even if it means living in tension and being accountable for each of your own actions. This is when discrimination and self serving categorization of others ends. 

If you are of Christian persuasion, please remember, Christ did not come as more commandments on a stone tablet, rigid, cold and without feeling but, rather a warm, loving, and totally transparent being. 

The Sin Of Anger

There is a saying that when you hold onto anger, it’s like drinking poison while expecting the other person to die. 

Last year at this time we were part of the loving vibrant church. It was a large part of who we were as a family and we miss it dearly. I won’t go into any details of what happened at the church other than to share how I feel. I can honestly say I don’t hate those responsible for destroying the church as it was, as hate is too strong a word even for those I am angry with.

 Yes, I still find myself angry.   

 I am angry with the lies and rumors that they chose spread even after they  were shown to be untrue. 

I am angry with those who failed to make amends towards my family and to those close to me.

Jesus Christ took away our permission to call people sinners and said, love your neighbor. And by the way, (here is the tough part ) everyone is your neighbor. 

Up until this point in my life I feel I have been a forgiving person. I have gone toe to toe with someone, got my nose busted but afterwards sat down for a beer together as if nothing ever happened. Perhaps it was because physical wounds are easy.  
Recently I was sharing with my best friend on how I was amazed that my children could be so forgiving of those who have crossed them while I as the parent, struggled to be forgiving of the infraction against them. It’s simple she explained, those are your children and you want to protect them.

 I believe as Christians, if we want to hate sin, it must be our own sin.I must now choose to spit out the poison of anger. The sin of anger. May God have mercy on me. Amen.