I am Denise Stair Armstrong; born and raised Jamaican. I received all my formal academic education in the land of my birth at Shortwood Teachers’ College and the University of the West Indies, specializing in English Language & Literatures in English. The remainder I’ve gained homes educating our three wonderful children – Joseph , Charis and Timothy, parenting them with my husband Claude and in caring for my wheel-chair bound mother. I enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, theatre and ballroom dancing with Claude (only!) and digging into the Word of God.
My passion is worship expressed primarily through writing inspirational pieces that urge readers not to miss how much the Lord has “cramm’d earth with heaven”. My heart is to encourage them to traverse the gap between all our hearts and the cultures that shape them, via the Bridge that is Calvary’s cross.
Why I Write…
It is my distinct conviction that no matter where you go in the world, you can find a Jamaican or a close relative there. In their migrant expression, Jamaicans are a unique people—a bridge folk of exceedingly broad span. If a bridge is to serve its purpose it must have well-established footing; it must be thoroughly embedded on both ends of its span, and if that span is exceedingly broad its engineering must additionally compensate for its support throughout. On this site, I aim to explore and employ the unique features of this bridge that are the Jamaican migrant experience, as I continue to observe and experience that reality myself.
It would be disingenuous to approach this bridging identity without taking into full account it’s footing in our island homeland, and the providential, historical circumstances from which have emerged a culture whose music, creativity and gregarious qualities endear Jamaicans wherever we go, to those who experience us at our best. Our beautiful landscape makes it nigh impossible for us to deny the existence of a Creator God, and the proud ambitious Jamaican soul’s reach for a fuller experience of fellow humanity, through worldwide migration, is a testimony to the fact of our common nascence from the One Blood of His making.
I hope that in visiting here you come to embrace the mind-blowing truth, if you don’t already, that the Creator has established a Bridge to span the gap created by humanity’s break with Him and by extension, with each other. This Bridge, the only One that is never in danger of being ‘out’, is the One between heaven and earth—the Cross of Jesus Christ.
But let us start with the obvious!— We begin to appreciate things of an eternal nature when we cease to take the world around us for granted—when we let ourselves realize that “…earth is crammed with heaven…” and cease our focus on satisfying only our basic cravings, as E. B. Browning intimates in her verse; when we cease being like a child who is content to play with mud-pies in the city alley because he has never experienced a vacation at the beach, as C.S. Lewis portrayed it.
Join me on a writing journey where, through creative non-fiction essays, poems, and other media, we will explore and highlight seminal moments in everyday life when the veil falls away and we behold, in our world and in each other, no matter how varied our experiences, our resemblance and obligation to Him who is invisible!