A Christmas Card to you from ‘Grow Mercy’

Hoping this finds you on the edge of a big new fluid circumstance, already falling into a slurry of joy.

Christmas 1957sm

A writing: Christmas Pageant

Fidgety boys wearing bath robes, smirking under terry towel head gear.
Nervous girls in white dresses holding wire haloes in place.
A serious girl under a pole-lamp,
bending over a bassinet.

It had been a grey Christmas Eve in our Saskatchewan village,
but when we left the church the sky had cleared.
Now, flecks of stars and a gibbous moon cast a slant of silvery light on a fresh fall of snow.

My big sister, Elizabeth, took my six-year-old hand,
and as we moved out from beneath the direct glow of the a street light by the church,
we were suddenly ankle deep in diamonds.

And then, just as suddenly, we were the wise men following the star.
We were the shepherds beholding the angel.
We were the angel bringing delirious tidings of joy.
We were Joseph, filled with concern and anticipation.

The story, awkwardly acted by kids whose names I knew,
sealed itself inside me through the wordless speech of that night.
I was embraced deep within and awakened to a big new fluid circumstance.

Believing was seeing.
Breathing was praying.
Walking was worshipping.
Holding hands with Elizabeth held me in arms universal.
Never again to be a me–I was we.


Above: Christmas 1970, Debbie Walton-Berg with brothers, sister, and cousins. Top picture: Christmas 1957, Berg family (little sister implied).

A quote, picked by my wife Debbie

“When we remember who we really are, we bring together the universal with the personal. Instead of becoming more disembodied or rigidly spiritual, we have a sense of humor about the whole dance of life, and everything becomes easier and lighter. We can care for the hydrangeas in our garden, watch our cholesterol, speak out against injustice, and raise money for tsunami and earthquake survivors. And we can meet each person in his or her nobility and timeless beauty, beyond age, gender, and race. We can accept the ever-changing seasons of life and know their fleeting, ephemeral dance. Honoring the paradox of our true nature, we can laugh with wisdom and tenderly care for the precious days we are given.” – Jack Kornfield


From our woodsy little get-away, a place for you to curl up in…

Wishing you a warm sweet Christmas!


  1. Nice pictures and thoughts about Christmas in times past. Thanks!
    At lunch today Paul was recalling going to the annual Sunday School program at church in a sleigh pulled by a team of horses. He also mentioned that the bag of goodies they got at church was twice the size of the one they got at school!
    Ian & Erin are here with us now ( for a week); Nolan and family are due to arrive in time for supper today. Everett & Marie were here 20 – 22 so they did see Ian & Erin briefly. Ev & Marie are on their way to Houston TX to spend Christmas with her mom and step- dad. We had a turkey time with the grandmas on Tuesday when Ev & Marie were still here, and are having another one with Grandmas on Christmas day when the 2 grandkids are here as well.
    Ida Marie & James were also here on the 22nd and were planning to drive to C’port today. ( Benjamin is a real littel cutie!) We are hoping the weather descriptions are not as serious as predicted for all the travellers with little ones.
    It is now a white Christmas here – received a couple of inches over the last few days. Beautiful!
    Hi to everyone who is together in your family groups! we will raise a glass and think of you too!
    Love Beth

  2. We just drove home from a wonderful gathering at Darren’s parents. It is late and dark and very snowy. When we get out of the car we all do what we always do when we have been travelling for an hour or so – we look up into the dark night. It is very dark where we live and the stars always shine very bright. Sam exclaims, “look, the moon is blinding out all the stars !” I love to listen to what my kids say – they always amaze me! I am feeling sort of sad tonight… it is or was my Dad’s birthday.. and Christmas eve has always been a bit different since Dad left this world. But, as you and Deb so beautifully quoted the “Dance of Life” continues and it is only because of the never ending grace of our Lord Jesus that my dance has continued with so much joy. Wishing your family all the joy of the season ! Thank you for your message this evening.

  3. Hi Kim, I loved your note. Thank you. And I loved, “the moon blinding out all the stars!” It captures all the brilliance of moonlight on a dark night. Kids see so clearly. Thank you and joy to you and your household.

  4. thanks for the lovely christmas card
    may that wide-eyed, wonder-struck little boy continue to frolic in the snows of an eternal now

    I like what you’ve done to your site……it looks really good

    I haven’t been around lately
    I will have to check in more often

    best wishes

    i really like your article on our salvation according to John from Dec. 27.

    I think you said it just about as right as humanly possible.

  5. Thanks, Steve, for this note. And Beth. I too have memories of the sleigh rides. The excitement of Christmas Eve at church was huge. I was fascinated by the sparkling electric lights on the huge Christmas tree that reached up to the ceiling in the church.


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