Wait With Me

“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” Oswald Chambers

I sift through the most difficult times of my life, draw circles around painful periods, connect the dots between each hard part, every challenging chapter. As I take inventory of my almost sixty years, I find that in some way every important page holds a story of waiting.

Often my waiting felt like wading through the weight of heaviness and fear mired deep in murky waters of questioning. How long would our adoption take? How many years of infertility would we face? How long would momma battle dementia? When would we know healing and restoration within our marriage?

From birth to grave we are asked to wait. It is a necessary requirement, a prerequisite for living. We often feel most human, most vulnerable when we are made to sit in a holding pattern. Like a plane low on fuel, asked to circle while it waits for its turn to land, we become dizzy and impatient.

Our course is altered, outcomes are on hold, as we hang in the balance of action and pause. We are a people on the move. And waiting goes against our “on the move” grain. For a generation or two we have become a people who are accustomed to instant gratification—a concept out of sync with waiting. Have we forgotten how to wait?

This “great strain,” of which Oswald Chambers writes, offers us beautiful opportunities for deeper dependence on God. Isn’t this where the growth comes, from strain and tumbling. We are the diamond in the rough. We are the pearl at the mercy of the oyster’s grit. We are the waiters. And yet, if we pay close attention,  remaining awake to possibility, we will witness the miracle of His mercy laden timing unfold. Every time. We become like the pearl.

We encounter it on a deeply personal level when we rub up against anything that stops us from moving, acting, creating, and doing. All the “ing’s” that fuel our living. And yet, to wait in faith, to wait with trust, to wait wholly dependent on a God who holds me in the darkness of uncertainty—this is my spiritual challenge. And perhaps it is also yours.

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Promise Me

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Promise Me

You will
find love in the places where love is hard
and learn to know it there
Walk the trail that’s hard to blaze
Pressing on, though tripping up
On a broken wing and a cryptic prayer
Your walk will be marked by the limp of grace
Mercy, your salve on every blistered place
Remember the Psalms of Ascent
Came before

Contemplate every word that expires from your lips’ breath
And know with certainty
That each word was first birthed
From the inspiration placed in the well
within (where the echoes grow)
Remember that “think comes before speak and pray comes before it all”
And pride comes before the fall

Promise me
That excellence will find you seeking it
And it will mark the work of your hands

You won’t permit perfectionism
To entangle you, hold you captive
Wrap you up in the bonds of your own creation
Bury you in the mire of doubt
“Carry on” will be your anthem song

As you blaze root-laden trails
Settle without settling
(the third cousin of compromise)
Compromise, the first cousin of grace,
Can yield “and it was very good.”

You’ll always remember
That proximity of heart can be hard to maintain
But never let distance, brokenness, and pride
Place a wedge the size of east Texas
Between you and anyone
You love big back

Promise me you will make peace with
Both and
Tough and tender
Fragile and strong
And there are more
You know them well
Just promise me

You will always remember
The world is filled with grand and glorious wonder
And there is more where that came from


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Maybe the light is always just right.

Maybe we are standing a quarter inch off of where we need to be to see.

Maybe the slant is always pouring in with just the perfect amount of glint and shadow

To show us where to cast our eyes.

Perhaps we moved at the speed of un-noticing all those years ago. And left the beauty in 

A blur.

Perhaps the Light is always just right.


And sacred ordinary was always waiting to have its time of quiet hallelujah, with you 

And you alone.

Maybe the Light is always just right.


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When the Wind Blows

When the Wind Blows

When the wind blows you remember an out take of a scene from the grainy sepia parts of The Wizard of Oz
And you find you are only slightly braver than the child who watched the film, scared of the parts you already know, scenes you’d seen a hundred times
Scared in new ways, of old things
Strange things like flying monkeys, houses on legs shod in red sparkly shoes, and spinning things

When the wind blows you remember that it won’t last forever
The wind and the rain and the storm and the grey

You remember the Psalms and the promises
And old poems written about the wind years ago
An alphabet of hurricanes ago, 2013, now life-times ago
Time measured by storms

And you find that every promise held
Just as was spoken and written
Every anchor metaphor was not a metaphor after all
But a Holder, a Counter-Weight and a Calmer of the Seas

As you held on to your dreams
Of words and poetry
You were held

And as you are holding tighter still to the days that follow the storm

And realize you are no longer scared
Of old things in new ways
Or the new ways of old things
That used to scare you

Now you are brave
When the wind blows