Out of the sand and off running

So I spent some time the past couple of days writing in the sand… metaphorically speaking, that is. Guess a blogger preacher must practice what she blogs. Mostly what I mean by “writing in the sand” is being silent and taking time to reflect on the things that are churning inside and outside, noticing where I’m angry and anxious and fearful and defensive. Not making rash decisions. Letting things settle and giving space for God’s voice to rise. (Jesus let the crowd settle down by quietly writing in the sand in John 8 again.)

Where do you do your best writing in the sand? I do the silent-writing-in-the-sand-thing best when sitting by the Yellow Breeches. Walking the dog before sunrise. Closeted in the church parlor with no one there. Sitting on the upstairs porch and watching the moon drift from one branch to another. Guess at times like that it must look like I am not accomplishing much of anything. (The religious leaders in John 8 thought Jesus’ tactic of writing in the sand was wasting their time when they wanted specific black and white answers.) It’s true: sometimes I straighten up from the listening and have nothing to show for it except a hope I was “waiting on the Lord.”

But there are occasional times of silence, like yesterday, when something becomes clear, or ideas emerge, or a certainty is strengthened. All three happened yesterday, and now I’m off and running, knowing what I need to do in the congregation (just in the nick of time for the September newsletter) and where I am being called to go in the months ahead…at least until I hit the next bend or demanding crowd. When that happens, it’s always good to know where that next sandy place is.


  1. My “best writing in the sand” is done in the midst of God’s creation. Clearing the mind of all outside intrusions and really noticing the colors of the landscape, the shapes of the leaves, the patterns of a butterflies wings, the song of a bird, the touch of the breeze…His creation takes our breath away…and in those breathless moments we can let His presence envelop us and truly listen. It is in those moments where it looks like we are not accomplishing much, that we take in more than we can ever grasp in that single solitary moment. His light shines within us and then continues to guide us when the world seems to be spinning out of control. May you encounter these holy moments daily as you shepherd your flock of believers

  2. Thanks, Patty. You’ve nailed it. So many folks feel like things are “spinning out of control” in their work, in what we hear in the news, their families, and in even in their church. The amazing thing is that God can shine in us and guide us in ways when we are not even aware of it happening. Yes, even when things look dark and chaotic to us.