The Real Work It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. By Wendell Berry
Today I was talking to a dear friend, a sister really. We talked about keeping inner peace. We agree we need to be a ship’s anchor, at times. When the waters rage and the sea is uneven and the ship rocks; just be the anchor. Lodge yourself down there where the ground is still under you. Just let that uneven sea storm and rage. Keep your eye on the path- even if you are in water. Keep steady -even in the midst of those near and close to you who might likely sink the ship. Keep yourself calm and let the armies of God tend the war while you keep peace in your heart; while you make certain the devil doesn’t stowaway and try to pirate the ship and take all the goods.
Betty became my friend 32 years ago; the minute I met her. We were both in our early 30’s. We were both living in Pope Valley bringing up a family with children.
Betty was as loyal a friend as they come.
I laugh now at how Betty always said my name: Shelly.
She said my name with an exclamation point at the end of it- or two!!
She said it as though I was to come to attention; Ten-hut Shelly!
“Shelly” was said as though I was sleeping and was being called to awaken- like breakfast had been waiting a long time for me.
Betty’s tent was worn and her time had come. The last time I saw Betty she said this to me, “Shelly!!…No one ever said we’d get out of this alive.”
Betty…!! You rest in my heart. With faith I trust you have made a camp with Jesus.
Betty had an aggressive cancerous brain tumor. After her diagnosis she had only some weeks to live here on earth. Her faith never wavered, not once. She gave me courage to love each day- no matter what. She left me with a remarkable gift- love. She left me with a chuckle – “No one ever said we’d get out of this alive!”
We have not come here to take prisoners
but to surrender ever more deeply
to freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world
to hold ourselves hostage from love.
Run my dear,
that may not strengthen
your precious budding wings.
Run like hell my dear,
from anyone likely
to put a sharp knife
into the sacred, tender vision of
your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend
those aspects of obedience
that stand outside of our house
and shout to our reason
“O please…O please,
come out and play.”
For we have not come here to take prisoners
or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom and
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
And thank you Dear Lord for this…
The antonym of “trudge” lists these words: glide, slide, waltz and breeze.
Why should we trudge on? Why should we befall to our interpretation of what appears to be division, political discord and chaos? Why should we doubt His abilities to orchestrate our best in everything? Isn’t our faith clearly revealed when we have reason to use it? Isn’t our love for Jesus confirmed when we put him first in our attention and in our conversations?
Please think about these questions and bare your heart toward my answer.
Please don’t talk to me about the political weather. Please don’t confess your loyalty to a party based on lower things. Show me that you are a Christian by loving every color of human made. Show me how you extend His mercy and grace in fruitful ways to people in need. Show me first that you trust God. Show me He is in every cell of your breathing, moving, thinking, feeling body and heart. Show me how you live in the body of Christ first and foremost and I will join my hand with yours.
If I give you repeated audience to your comments of the current politics; can I better serve my dear, dear Jesus? I don’t know how to do this. I let slumber the things of this world that I may be kept close to His world. Can you grasp my need right now to have His strength waltz in the breeze of the Holy Spirit within me? Please let’s dance with him between us- let’s try.
I pray earnestly for every appointed and elected politician to do the things Jesus would consider right and true. I pray for those who appear to be enemies of Jesus. I don’t confess to know all of God’s enemies. And… I can’t even be sure if they are; but if these suppress my practice of bringing forth His fruits – I pray.
I’m not ignorant of the news. I read and research what’s going on in doses that allow my honor toward Jesus to prevail.
Please keep me from your focus on the current political happenings. Please help me in keeping Jesus our most important and cherished elected official.
If your beliefs differ and
you can’t see eye to eye with a brother or sister on a political topic,
if you think your voice made louder and more often will sway,
isn’t this a wonderful opportunity to unite in the joy found solidly in Him-in a grip that will not tear us apart?
Thank you brothers and sisters for your consideration…
The Church of Christ might be like plants. Some plants look different than others. In a lens view you can see many differences. Still, they all belong in the same place. Maybe Jesus made us all different so we can hold different qualities, views, perspectives and opportunities. I like to think we are all put here to prevail HIS will. I like to think we compliment each other like the plants that make a garden beautiful. These creations were made to be beautiful.
to show us