What Happens When We Listen

by Linda Andersen


Blue bowl of sky hovers maternally, marshmallowed with gossamer clouds.  Sunlight splashes: golden gems, gleeful, abandoned to joy.  It’s a recipe for happiness in anyone’s book,


yet my spirit is testy, pity-full, tired.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd” (Psalm 22:15)


I finger masses of blue morning glory twining ‘round my porch railing.


Where did this thankless spirit come from, and how can I get rid of it?  Jaunty, trumpet-shaped blooms reflect blue, white, golden-throated sky.  They are silk to the touch and moist as a young girl’s cheek.  They remind me of grandma.  Her well never seemed to run dry despite extreme hardship.  My well had.


Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?”(Psalm 43:5)

I thought of the past few days and found some obvious clues: people living in our small home with us, changing our ways and shifting our days.  Externally, there was the cleaning, cooking and adjusting.  Internally, I battled for my turf, resisted the change of my established routines.  It was the eternal dance of human relationship…syncopation and rhythm.  I could do without this dance.


I stood, smoothed my wrinkled jeans, and walked to the garden, touching floral faces lifted to mine.  Some buds just open.  Some tight.   Day lilies shoot orange, catch tired eyes.  This is standing ovation material!  But I’m not clapping.


They will shrivel by nightfall, and be replaced.  I think I may too.


Zinnias sizzle, tall with color.  They could bloom forever.  But I knew better.  They, too waltzed with their season of bearing and followed the lead of their nature.  Now in bloom.  Now not.  Now flamboyant.  Now faded and resting.


Yesterday there were no morning glories.  It was too cool.  Even they, it seemed, couldn’t bloom every day.  Responding to inner rhythms, they blossomed and retreated.


For it is God that works in you to will and to act….”(Phil. 2:13)


Yesterday I blossomed.  I did really well–stood proud.  Today I drooped.  So be it.  “Embrace what is”, say the early saints.  Follow the rhythm.  Ebb and flow.  So be it.  To fight is to increase the pain.


An ad came to mind:  “I don’t have time for the pain.”  What?  It made me angry.  No pit stops allowed?  I decided there were.


As for this home, these people, I didn’t have to be the glue that held it all together.  I didn’t sign up for that job.  That belonged to God.  After all, hadn’t we claimed this ground as “holy” when we moved here?  And didn’t that mean “set apart” for God’s work?  Well then, maybe I should let Him do His job.


Morning Glories are honest.  And they are talking.  When they can’t, they don’t.  Whole days they spend in lavish blue indolence,  drinking energy instead of blooming.   I retrace steps– sit quiet in velvety profusion ; hear  God,  “I am your strength and your song.” (Ex. 15:2)


Then, I know.  My main work today is to let God do what I can’t do!


He is “up” for it!  He can do this!  What have I been thinking?  I head for the house, stronger, sloshing ankle deep through truth.  He was (yesterday), and He is (today), and He always will be, world without end.  Knee deep I stride.  Amen and amen and again I say, amen.

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1 Comment

  1. This is one of my favorite songs; such mienang. I spent last year really concentrating on breathing in the Lord’s sustenance and breathing out his praise. I wrote an additional verse that we now sing at my church:You are the life I breathe / You are the life I breathe / Your healing Spirit moving through me / You are the strength I need / You are the strength I need / Your very breath sustaining me

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