Slow walk to Refreshing

Antsy…! That was the word! I had stuff to do – projects to start or finish – but wandered around the house dictated to by the demands of existence rather than accepting the invitations of Life. My devotional routine seemed fine. I was keeping up fairly well with the church’s Bible reading project (I had made it to Leviticus, for Heaven’s sake!). I was feeling productive at church, and home felt on fairly good footing; yet, feeling like a starving soul, seated without appetite at a feast, I hungrily scanned a friend’s blog site – ‘Set Apart Warrior‘.

Aliyah wrote winsomely of taking a walk with The Good Shepherd; she kept wanting to climb mountains and ford streams and find dreams. He just wanted her to tarry awhile with Him by gently running brooks and savor His beauty all around her — the profound beauty He liberally wove into the created order, that we daily overlook though our souls ache with the need for a sip of it.

walk in nature1That was it!  I realized that I had not taken a slow walk with the Lord out in Creation in the longest.  The Winter temperatures, the flu, the daily grind, the world, the flesh, the enemy, all conspired to keep me diligent, indoors and dry …physically and in spirit. Alive but not lively, I ached to write but inspiration eluded me so when Aliyah’s blog post showed up in my email I grasped at it in hope.

The child-like voice of her post lured me back to a place of wonder reminding me of days hiking in the foothills of the Blue Mountains with friends, to a place where we paused for food and unashamed worship sessions.  We had tasted of that Beauty and love of the Lord, that source of spiritual vibrancy and were ‘ruined for the ordinary’.  Just like my post-Winter garden needed some aeration, hydration, and fertilization, so my hard-packed soul longed for gentle rains, erupting buds,  birdsong and waving wisps of forsythia to awaken me to the presence of the One who turns Winter to Spring in climes tropical, temperate or frigid.

I needed a walk in the woods.  I purposed to do so first chance but till then I pulled out a poem from the Fall to tide me over, like the last of Winter preserves.  I remembered His Beauty then and anticipated the rejuvenation of His coming reign, in the Spring.

walk in nature2-cropped


I watched the morning kiss the woods

Dispensing Golden grace

And knew the washing of the Word

That lets me see God’s Face.

Like precious ointment on the head

A-coursing down the beard,

It slowly leached the night-pall-grey

And Mercy’s story mirr’d.

Salvation’s miracle early wrought,

Like earnest: promise paid,

Descending upon Adam’s head,

Before his feet had strayed.

This, God’s Good Work, that saved our souls,

Displayed upon a tree,

That took the curse and drank the night

That Day on Calvary.

The Dawn is His and His alone

Who layers on the gold,

Who paints our dark with Glory’s light

Till Life’s full day is told.


“The path of the righteous is like the light at dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the Full Day” (Prov. 4:18)


Denise S. Armstrong (early morning, the day after Thanksgiving 2017)

Author: Denise S. Armstrong

e teacher. She gratefully enjoys a thirty-years-strong marriage, which has joyfully produced three offspring. Jamaican by birth, Denise's work reflects her family’s cross-cultural journey. She is a blogger in poetry, short-form essays, ethnic sketches and musicals. Her work has also appeared in The Caribbean Writer--a literary publication of the University of the Virgin Islands, on SA Radio Cape Pulpit’s – ‘Voices of Change’, as well as on Jamaican television. She considers herself privileged to be a contributor to one of today’s most exciting online communities of Christian artists—The Cultivating Project. At present, she resides in Europe.

8 thoughts on “Slow walk to Refreshing”

    1. Dear, Dear Sister, I was praying for you less than 30 minutes ago! How kind of the Lord to let something I wrote bless you in this same time frame. Grace, love and continued peace! Denise


    1. Indeed Jody, Yet, as Steven Curtis Chapman sang back in the day, we are too often like one “playing GameBoy while sitting in the middle of the Grand Canyon”. I need to come see how your garden is growing this approaching Spring, as well as K.C.’s.


  1. Ah Denise, how I praise our God for this beautiful poem and this deep sharing of your heart. I so get you when you talk about having those projects and yet walking around the house instead. I’m humbled in deep gratitude that what I wrote really blessed you, wow, thank you! It means so much in a season where God has made me wait over 14 months with my new writing project, and I’ve taken the arrow hits of having my work broken down by workers of the enemy. And then the accuser trying to tell me God is waiting because my writing is not good enough. I’m glad I am out of that tunnel now which swallowed me little by little, but still I clung to the Hem of His Robe. How Good is our God. When He said “walk with me, be present,” oh such a shift came. May His amazing Love, Truth and Peace wash over you today and may you feel His strong arms wrap around you and say “hey I love you, always, as if only you existed on this earth, that’s how crazy I am about you.”
    Blessings and Love, Aliyah


    1. All glory to Our Good, Good Father, Aliyah! So good to be able to spur one another on to love and good works in His Name. Let us pray for each other, and indeed for all who seek to glorify Him by the written word, that we will be restful and diligent at His feet, knowing the best of Martha’s fruitfulness and of Mary’s worship.; for indeed, He is glorified in both. Waiting to mount up, Denise


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