Speak your Servant is Listening *SLOW Word video*

{Every Monday and Thursday find a SLOW Word Lectio Divina right here. Now they’re streamlined. Shorter. A little less talk and a fast track to the Word. That’s why we’re here, right? Forget the toast. We’re hungry for the feast. If you’d like to receive these SLOW Word Lectios by email, subscribe on the right. I’m so glad you’re here. It’s such a privilege to come into the Presence together.}


I’m still sitting in my chair by the fire. The kids are in bed but bedtime snack dishes with the sleepytime tea, the honey bear, and the graham crackers are still strewn across the table.


Isaiah 43:1-2 is singing a tune I can’t identify. The phrase, “they will not sweep over you,” surprised me. Have you ever listened to a lectio divina and thought you knew where the Spirit was going to lead you and then you land in an unfamiliar section of your little town?


“And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”


Last summer we took a backpacking trip through a corner of the Cohutta mountains of Northern GA. This fall there were fires there. I wonder what it looks like now. Our 3 mile trek in was idyllic with white rhododendron’s spilling onto the trail. We staked our tents next to a river and slept deep until the thunder and cracks of lightning and the pouring rain. The boys found themselves sleeping or not sleeping in a puddle. We were up early, drying out, and huddling around our tiny backpacking stove as it boiled water for our hot chocolate and oatmeal. It was summer in GA and so the discomfort didn’t last more than an hour and the children were soon fishing on a large rock in the middle of the river. The river was swollen when we hiked that afternoon and we had to cross it four times. Our feet slipped on the stones as we dipped up to our waist and tried to help the children to land. Andrew’s a natural. He does this for fun. I was meant to be a land animal.

As I sat with these words from Isaiah 43, “they will not sweep over you,” and this was the story that came to mind. I was struggling to cross the river. Overwhelmed. A little frightened. I was wishing I had a cord, a rope, a hand, something to hold onto. “I will be with you.” I listen. That’s definitely a part of the answer.


I think about how overwhelmed I get by the chaos of a daily household. I think about being a single parent when Andrew’s travels oversees and how life falls heavily right here…in my lap.


Another story comes into memory, a labyrinth walk this last December. I walked the large canvas labyrinth with a sense of Presence, of holding onto Christ’s hands. He was leading though turned towards me. I sensed His graciousness with my tiredness. I stopped on most turns to rest, for a breath, to enjoy the quiet. I learned to stop in the present moment, not to race, not to demand, not to push through. So much of my learning to rest comes with this verse, “He remembers that we are but dust.” (Psalm 103:14). There’s so much grace in those words, so much understanding. He knows I’m human and He holds out His hands. I can trust those hands. I can trust the pace.


I still don’t know where this is headed. Not really. I’m sitting with the question, a puzzle that’s spread all over the card table with colors fanned across and no larger picture. But I sense something here. I sense the call to hold these words. I sense the call to carry the words into tomorrow, through the next turn.


I don’t know the answer, not yet, but now I’m listening to whispers which sound like hope.

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  1. So very thankful for you ,Summer. I look forward to the Slow Word every week. . .I feel such a connection to you, like we are soul mates. Blessings to you and your family!

    1. That is just pure loveliness, Mimi!!! I’m so thankful you’re praying and listening on the other side of the screen. Thanks for showing up to the Word with faithfulness.

    1. I’m back to listen again and park myself on Isaiah’s recording of God’s promises. I realized these verses in chap43 are promises made long, long ago: that He would be with us in the fire and through the waters. As I sort through some old memories / painful childhood seasons of fire and deep waters, I hear the promise again, knowing it was fulfilled then, just as much as it is now. He was with me. And now the question/request that changes everything: Show me where you were, Jesus. He is rewriting my memories one by one, showing me how He was there with me. I am so in love with our omnipresent, tangible God. So in love with his tender, healing ways. So in love with his word and how it comes to life in lectio divina. This is holy ground, Summer! Thank you for treading it with me. ❤

      1. Wow, Jamie! I’m so in awe! God is doing a beautiful work! Thank you for giving us the tiniest of peeks and of reminding us that resurrection works backwards. So glad to be walking with you on this part of your pilgrimage.

        1. Jamie, I am late to this blogpost…and yet right on time! Thank you for your comment; God is using it as much as Summer’s words.
          I am in a similar place as you–sorting through some old memories that, to be quite honest, scare the bejeebers out of me! And yet He was there. And He did not let the waters sweep over me, nor allow the flames to engulf me. What a different perspective that provides.
          I’ve been anxious about allowing my mind and heart make the trek back to those days, but your words, Summer’s words, and God’s promise through Isaiah’s words are now almost making me giddy for it!
          Thank you, Jesus! And thanks to you ladies, too. <3

  2. As I board a plane this morning to travel across the country alone, this was such a timely word. Thanks for sharing, Summer.

  3. Wow. You and I are speaking/meditating the same language this week. Not only on “boundary lines,” but also how He knows we are but dust. I am writing my book and wrote on that very section yesterday. So grateful for you and this place. Getting ready to listen now. xoxo

    1. I’m still pondering your precious little nuggets, dear Ashley. So glad to be knowing the Holy Spirit is speaking some of the same words on opposite sides of the continent!

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