Today was a day of special graces. I received a note from Christine Trollinger (a regular contributer at Canticle and the winner of our last writer's contest), who said that she received a special gift from God on the anniversary of her husband's death, December 13. Despite the snow storm in her area, the mini rosebush he gave her for Mother's Day 2005 bloomed (see picture).
The second blessing came a little later in the day, when I received an unexpected e-mail from a long-lost friend (we played together in 1984 in a church music group while I was on the short-term teaching assignment in Senegal, West Africa). Gondar is now married with four children (he married another teacher from Dakar Academy), and living in British Columbia. When I knew him, Gondar was a medical student at the University of Dakar; he had struggled between continuing his medical studies, which would have required him to return to his home country of Tchad and work for the government for a prolonged period of time, and becoming a pastor. It seems God took him along a third path ... and now he is using his musical talents for the Lord. Ironically, we communicate much more readily now (while my deplorable French has actually decreased in fluency, his English has improved considerably). The subject line of his first e-mail was "I can't believe you're Catholic now!"
Ah yes, how time does change things. In this case, infinitely for the better.