Here I am—in all kinds of angst this morning, selfish angst, not knowing how to be right now.  It doesn’t matter the circumstances that I am so tempted to lay out before you. Those reasons for my discontent will be replaced on another day by other woes.

The redeeming part of this story is that I know to sit in my red chair and open to another way. Just the day before, I wrote in my notebook how I am here in the midst of lives around me that are making their way through.  I wrote that I have seen the “obscure glimmering through of grace” in the lives of those I hold close. However, I seem to cave in to the news of the day, to an imagined outcome, to a real concern.  I know I’ve been here before, more than once or twice.  And I know what is needed: to surrender to the life force around me, to take a day at a time, to not feel such consequence, to let the click and clack unfold, to know I am not the fixer of anything.

My view from the chair at McNeil Bay

So on this day, I open what I’ve been reading and see the title, “Until,” before a few verses from Psalm 73.  That Psalm begins,

Truly God is good to the upright,

   to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

  my steps had nearly slipped…

Clearly this day, I am stumbling. I certainly don’t see myself as any version of upright or pure in heart.  I just had a conversation with someone about their struggle.  I thought I listened until I recognized that I was jumping into the exasperating narrowness of trying to explain my own (mis) understanding of things.

Until.  In the middle of the Psalm, I listen,

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”

   I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.

But when I thought how to understand this,

   it seemed a wearisome task,

My life seems precisely like a worrisome task, overcrowded with thoughts of how and why and when and, oh yes, what if.  And the things that are cluttering my way are of little consequence to the whole.  I cannot see around the corner of my own self-interest.

Until I went into the sanctuary of God;

Then, I perceived their end.

Outside my dining room window, I see green.  A large evergreen and prickly holly leaves shelter my view.  Spring is showing; this is the city of daffodils and cherry blossoms. A friend left a bouquet of tulips at my door.  The light fills this room.

Until I pause to look at the life that is in plain sight.  Whether it is the sun shining brightly into my living room today or the rain the day before that greened up the grass and glistened on the dandelions. 

Until I see the whole—the gift of God’s presence in this very place that I see only through my experience of gloom.  Looking into the smallness, the dark corners that I’d backed myself into. 

Until I turn around and see the vastness of the world and surrender to that spaciousness.

2 thoughts on “Until

  1. Good morning Linda,

    Well, I never got as far as replying to your previous post. The idea of simply lifting others before God in prayer with no explanation or suggestions of required outcome from me was quite profound and helpful. God doesn’t need my guidance!

    But today……..Until………i do feeling that I am stumbling and slipping. …life a worrisome task. Thank you for the words that life does not need to be this way, even as I begin again, one day at a time.

    Until I pause to look at the life that is in plain sight… Until I see the whole – the gift of God’s presence in this very place that I see only through my experience of gloom… Until I turn round

    Thank you- and know that your words were most timely for me

    Lovely that I know your red chair…..and the ‘your chairs’ in the photo. Keep writing, please



    • That is me in that chair on the rocks. Someone told me once that they had a chair that everyone in their house knew was a reflective spot. No one was bothered sitting in that chair. I can imagine that might also be your abundant garden or the seat of your bicycle.


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