Tough Sloggins

Years ago, my husband and I spent 3 weeks canoeing in Canada’s Quetico Park.  There were 5 of us, and we portaged 24 miles and paddled 150.  We went in to the park before it officially opened, so the ice had just melted.  It rained constantly for the first 10 days.  I would wake up each the morning, praying for sun.  By day five, the only way to cook supper was with our little cook stove since it was too wet to start a campfire.  On day eight, we arrived at a portage called Tough Sloggins.  In normal condition, it was a path of muck and goo that made the portage difficult.  With all the rain, we paddled through the portage, found a beaver slide to ride the canoes on, and went on our merry way.

Sometimes life seems like tough sloggins.  For us, the month of April was so.  Bill’s uncle passed, then my father graduated to glory.  He was the care giver for my mother who has dementia, so I spent a lot of time getting home health care lined up for her until she can get into an assisted living apartment. Our daughter has an inoperable brain tumor, and side effects from her medicine became apparent in April.  Driving home from my father’s funeral, I recalled the tough sloggins portage.  April was feeling like the muck and goo – except for the prayers and encouragement of our friends.  Those prayers saw us through.  Like the days of rain that filled the portage, the prayers made our way through April, and now May, easier.

So this is a thank you for your prayers, notes, flowers, and words of encouragement over the last several weeks. They have brought our entire family great comfort. Thank you for walking with us on this journey and for making this walk much easier.  In both word and deed you are Christ to us.


Should We Rejoice over Bin Laden’s death?


I hesitate to write this blog as I know it will be taken wrong by someone, but here goes.   I watched the new coverage this morning of Osama Bin Laden’s death – people climbing light poles, waving flags, dancing in the streets.  In a flashback, I saw Muslims dancing in the streets, waving flags, and rejoicing on 9/11.   Don’t get me wrong, Osama Bin Laden was brought to justice and paid for his hatred and murder of innocent people.  But it saddens me to see Americans rejoicing at the death of a human being, however evil he may have been.   I understand their reaction, I just think it moves us one step further away from being a people of compassion.

 Osama Bin Laden believed on his death he would go to heaven.  My faith and walk with Jesus Christ teach me that his fate will be very different.  But my walk with Jesus also teaches me to feel extreme sadness that any human suffers his fate.  Charles Spurgeon said it best:    “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”  Why do we pray and implore them to stay?  Because Jesus taught us to love our neighbor and our enemies.  Many brave men and women have fought to keep us safe, to protect our homeland and to save the lives of those on 9/11.  They deserve the ability to find satisfaction in the justice served this day.  I just pray that satisfaction is tinged with sadness that another human being was lost, truly lost. 

 I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – please share.