Saturday, July 18, 2009


Perhaps this has been my problem for months now.

God has developed in me a love for His creation.

And it has been months since I've immersed myself in it.

My problems, my worries, my fears are backed up in me... piled too high, too deep for me to navigate on my own.

I am a pedestrian at heart.

Going on foot.

Solvitur ambulando.

It is solved by walking.


I imagine myself staring at a trailhead.

Shoulders heavy-laden.

With everything I think I need.

Everything they've told me I can't make the trip without.

At first, the going is easy. Paved, clear-cut. You tell yourself, the way the pack hurts your shoulders is normal. You will adjust.

But the trail narrows as you climb higher.



You look ahead, look up.

And everything you are, seems not to be enough.


At what point do you start to put down your load?

To drop your pack, to lay down your map.

To begin to travel light,

to move freely.


The world looks different to those who are not carrying a burden.


I'm leaving my burdens at the trailhead today.

I will walk my problems out.

My blood will circulate.

My lungs will fill with air, and empty again.

My muscles will stretch.

My skin will smile... kissed by air that has not been filtered, sunlight that has not been manufactured.


This is my remedy.

I am, by definition, a pedestrian.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the belly

I imagine that Jonah fought.

That he saw the massive body of the slimy fish coming at him, jaws open, gills opening - shutting.

I bet Jonah swallowed a lot of water.

Thought he was going to die.

In one fluid, devastating motion the fish swallowed him.


And dove.


I bet Jonah waited.

To drown.

To be digested.

But it never happened.


Have you ever been snorkeling?

I remember as a little girl being in Destin, Florida.

We would spend all day on the beach.

Rent flat bottom kayaks.

And snorkeling gear.

I didn't use the snorkeling gear much, because it rubbed my nose raw.

But I distinctly remember the first time I went underwater.

And how the rest of the world faded away.

Everything was muffled and blurred.



Nothing else existed.


The Lord sent a big fish (or whale....) to swallow up Jonah.

And in the belly of that sizable fish,

I believe the rest of the world faded away.

Everything was muffled and blurred.



Nothing else existed.


Jonah ran.

The Lord followed.

Stole him away from his tragedy,

and hid him away quietly.

Made him be still.


The fish was not a punishment.

Not a scaly manifestation of the Lord's wrath.

Quite the opposite.

The belly of the fish was a sanctuary.

The safest place in the world...

a holy place.


The Lord loved Jonah.

So much that he plucked him out of despair.

Out of a churning sea.

Out of the hands of death and betrayal and sin.

His remedy was creative.

And terrifying.



I find myself, today, wishing a fish would scoop me up and swallow me whole.

If only...

so I could have three days and three nights of quiet.

Of stillness.

Of one on one time with the Lord.


I am not Jonah.

I have not been running from the Lord.

If anything... I've been running towards Him.

After Him.

But my ears have been filled with noise.

And the chaos of my life is reverberating off my ear drums...

so loud.


I sometimes cannot hear His voice.


It's time to put on the snorkeling mask.

Let it rub raw the space between my nose and lip.

Let the fish God sends, swallow me whole.

And keep me safe for a few days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


There was never a question that God wanted me in New York City this summer.

But here I am, on the other side of the four-day trip, and I am wondering exactly what His purpose was for me there.


New York was exactly what I expected. Tall buildings, lots of people, loud noises, yellow taxi cabs.

Everyone keeps asking me to "write" about my trip.

We are all used to life-changing mission trips. Where amazing things happen, you learn profound lessons, you see life change.

To come home from a mission trip, with great experiences but no mind-boggling revelations... is a new phenomenon.

But isn't that the way life is?

Sometimes, the Father just wants us to be present.

To attend.

To do His work without immediate, or obvious, results.

To work and be obedient.


He is teaching me lessons about my heart.

About how to work with people who are different than I am.

About how much I love the people I am doing life with.

About how far a smile can go.

About how much work He has done and will continue to do in me.


Right now, I can close my eyes and see the towering buildings. Dizzy and reflective against the sky. I can hear the honking horns and the sounds of thousands of people shuffling down the street. I can feel the wind that hits your body just a few seconds after the train flies by on the underground track.

I can see the face of a photographer in Union Square, hear the laughter of a homeless man from Jersey, and feel the heaviness that hung in the air around Ground Zero. I can smell the honey roasted nuts and the hot dogs and the mountain of trash that gets piled on the curb at the end of the night.

I tried to count how many granola bars, water bottles, and packs of gum I passed out over the four days I spent in NYC. How many pies I cut at the Bowery. How many people I smiled at on the corner of 96th and Amsterdam.

I will never know just what our work did in the city of New York.

But that is not the point.

He told us to go.

And we went.

And He will continue the good work He began.

Because He is faithful.