Lancia Smith, founder, editor of ‘Cultivating’, the warmest place on the Internet”, is very much married, yet reminds me of the widow in Scripture who miraculously was enabled to fill scores of jars from the humble smattering left in her own. Just as miraculously, Lancia has managed to gather scores of excellent writers and artists of faith, from all over, whose jars are clearly filled with good oil. More importantly, she has fostered a community where the Lamplighter Himself is pleased to ignite their lamps to His great glory in the earth. Hop on over and bask in the warmth!
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.
That 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.
I WATCHED THE MORNING KISS THE WOODS
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)