Tag Archives: stillness

Waiting

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Once upon a time…

It was Saturday, the Eleventh Day of April, in The Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty, and the day before Easter Sunday.  Known in many Christian traditions as Holy Saturday, this day was, for me, a bit different from the fifty-plus Holy Saturdays in my life that preceded it.  Our world was in a quieter state than most of us had ever experienced before because of a viral pandemic called Coronavirus that ground much of our activity to a standstill.

It hit me even as I typed the word “standstill”…

STILL.

Not moving, suspended, stationary.

But not inactive.

As with the first Holy Saturday, our world seemed on this day to be holding its breath, waiting for something.  A change.  A revolution.

A revelation.

As I found myself waiting on Holy Saturday in The Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty, I reflected on exactly what it was for which I was waiting…Easter Sunday celebrations, of course, even though I knew my church’s building would be nearly empty.  But we would connect through the gift of technology for which we all gave thanks.  The glory of Jesus and the hope of new life through Him would still be preached and revealed.

But I also waited for my world to return to “normal”, whatever that meant now.  My suspicion was that my definition of normal would never be the same.  Gone were the days of long-range planning for…anything, really.  Life was now taking place in real time, one day at a time, heartbeat by heartbeat and breath by breath.

And I imagined the body of Jesus, lying in that small, dark space that was both tomb and womb, having experienced death, waiting to rise up and emerge into a world that would be changed forever.  Good Friday was about Death.  Easter Sunday was about New Life.

Holy Saturday was about Waiting.

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Still…Or Stagnant?

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When my comfort zone becomes a funk…

There is a lake on the grounds of my workplace.  Toward the middle of that lake are a couple of fountains.  They sparkle in the light and make ripples outward, circulating the water and providing tranquil sounds when one can take a moment to enjoy the scenery.

Toward the edge of the lake, though, the water becomes shallow and still…and eventually, swamp funk begins to accumulate there.  It is unsightly for sure, and I would be willing to bet that it smells bad as well.  Periodically the funk needs to be cleared away.

How often is my life like that?  The line between stillness and stagnation can be a fine one indeed, and it can be difficult to tell when I have crossed from restful stillness into stagnant funk.  My waters need to be stirred into action, the funk cleared away.

Sometimes life throws us into circumstances that stir our waters into clarity, but that stirring often feels like the violent spin cycle of a washing machine.  Clearing out the muck is not an easy process.  God often stirs us when we feel least equipped for it.

I am entering a clearing season, spinning out my funk of inertia in a job I have held for a very long time, a job which is ending soon.  I did not ask for this process to happen in this way; however, I know that it will ultimately be for my good.  It is time for me to sparkle again.

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Pieces of Peace

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Reading, Writing and Rain

Sitting on my comfy couch one Sunday afternoon recently, I found myself enjoying a little moment of Heaven right in my living room. My sweet husband had gone out to do some errands and to see a movie (this was not the Heavenly part!), and I was snuggled up with tea on the table next to me, a book in my hand and the dog, affectionately known as Our Boy Roy, curled up on top of the quilt in my lap.Image

The sky was cloudy and grey, and soon I began to hear thunder. Not sharp claps of thunder, but low rumbles, the kind of thunder that can lull a person to sleep. After a few minutes of this, raindrops began their gentle, percussive dance on my windowpane.Image

I closed my eyes for a moment to take in the stillness, thinking that life is sweetest at moments like these. It was a chance to give thanks for all my blessings. Life can be so hectic and fast-paced most of the time that these little pieces of peace are rare. As I sat feeling the knot of stress behind my sternum gradually unclenching, I wanted to write and try to capture the stillness of the moment…but first I wanted to feel the moment.

In my desire to share the patchwork and potpourri of my life, there is a balance I have to strike between documenting an experience and experiencing  the experience. Sometimes my world swirls around me in what seems like a great big tornado of crazy! My Sunday piece of peace reminded me of what stillness feels like, enabling me to savor it, and to share it.