Growth Through the Cracks.

This morning, I was standing near the front of the line where we hand out our breakfast to-go every Thursday. Most of our friends had come and gone, receiving a meal and a small chat. Thursday mornings tend to be slow and sleepy, not as hectic as our Monday lunch. I was enjoying the cool breeze and waiting for any last minute folks to show up for the last couple meals we had left. I looked down and saw this grass growing out of a crack in the sidewalk and it struck me as beautiful. I did what I always do in that case and took a picture! It’s been on my mind all day, and I was trying to think of a blog to go alongside such a beautiful site to show all of you.

Sometimes, for me, the pressure to blog feels heavy. I would say most of the time it does not, and I can think of a story that stays with me and try to attach some thought to it that’s been on my mind. I get to share our beautiful life at The Dale with all of you and reflect on some thing that has happened. I love this part of my job.

But sometimes, the words just don’t come. That’s not to say that good things aren’t happening, because they are. And it’s not to say that I don’t have anything to share, because I do. But life has been heavier recently. The warm summer days are slowly fading, encampments in the area are being cleared, worry for our friends who sleep outside is higher as the nights get colder, Covid is still around so we remain outdoors, and people are tired. Community is beautiful, but sometimes there is a lot to worry about at once. Not to mention personal life things that can be heavy as well.

So while I reflected on this beautiful sight and tried to think of something hopeful, I could not. There is hope there, but there is heaviness too for many people. And it’s okay to feel both. I look at this picture and I see grass growing dutifully out of an odd place. I see hope and possibility. But I also see a brown leaf next to it. A sign of change, colder days, and hard times. Am I looking too deeply into some grass on the floor… probably! But it’s what I do. Thanks for being here when there are bold stories and reflective lessons. And thanks for being here for pictures of grass in the sidewalk and not much to say. I appreciate you.

One thing I may ask of you is for prayer over my friends Erinn, Dion, and Cate. If you’ve been here before you will recognize Erinn’s name. She is our pastor and director here at The Dale. You can find her blog here about the heaviness going on for their family right now. Erinn’s faith reminds me of this grass through the cracks – always looking towards the light. But there is heaviness now too and much change. I urge you to pray for The Oxford’s with us.

May peace find you today.


I am a community worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale. In order to do this ministry I must fundraise for my salary. I invite you to partner with me prayerfully or financially! Please email me at to talk more about what this looks like!