Waiting out the arctic wind

Stiffened with attention. Necks taut. Normally soft ears pressed into starched triangular folds. Unblinking eyes watching.

I looked up from my cup of Irish Breakfast and from the scripture reading for the coming Sunday to discover my dogs were staring me down. Bemused, I went back to reading. A few minutes later I looked up again as I poured more tea into the cup. The dogs still had not moved. One was sitting erect on the couch; the other poised in the most professional “sit” a trainer could hope for. I knew what they wanted, but had never noticed them quite this desperately attentive before.

They were willing me to take them for a walk, ready to jump at the first movement that I might be rising to get walking shoes. Their attention was in vain, I might add. My psyche has not adjusted to the early arctic freeze, and I simply couldn’t manage to let canines with fur drag me into the 15 degree (Fahrenheit) chill. I let them out into our little browned back yard instead. Long after I left for work, I still imagined their fixed eyes waiting.

I feel like I’ve been a third dog in the house, poised and anxious, waiting in vain to have something to write on this blog. I have paid every attention to my surroundings, but in vain, it seems. Nothing emerges as something to write about or something I can write about. Yet as I watch for the least stirring of a blog subject, I’m convinced that this is not a “writer’s block” experience.

Instead, it is a matter of the scarcity of resources in one human. There is only so much creativity to go around. Work and life in general is sucking every ounce of available creativity I have. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because I am doing creative things throughout the day…negotiating relationships, adapting worship, encouraging the despondent, fostering new spiritual growth, planting dreams and even singing Christmas carols on the autoharp. At the end of the day there is little creativity left in me for the task and art of writing.

The arctic wind will change and blow warmer from the southwest. Walking the dogs will resume. The intensity of pastoring will settle down a bit, and my waiting at attention for the least movement of words will end up being posted here.


  1. As a menber of a church congregation, the member needs to sit back and look at what has been going on in today’s world.
    -In Addition to the standard Pastoral duties we think of (church services, the planning of the services, baptisms, confirmations, funerals, marital counselor)
    -Add to that the far reaching effects of this HORRIBLE ECONOMY…business closings, loss of jobs, bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, loss of homes, a bank / mortgage – crisis / illegal banking dealings, rise in violent crimes, government reactions to the crisis, those in the communitty looking to St. Paul’s for help,… which effect our congregation directly in a mental, physical and financial way!! This kind of stress stretches very thin ….our individually families as well as our church family @ St. Pauls. THE FALLOUT FROM THE ECONOMY has far far reaching effects.
    -Add to that an ELCA policy change
    -Then there is hustle bustle of the upcoming Christmas holiday.
    -PEOPLE OF FAITH, when experiencing hard times,confusing times, stressful times, WILL TURN TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER for help. Part of that is coming to you the Pastor for guidance. That is quite a responsibility! Wow. So the job description of a Pastor just expanded 6 fold. A pastor of many many hats, stretching you to the limit. So yes, at the end of a day, one can see how you may just be a bit tired to write a blog / column. It is nice to know that you are taking this challenge in stride, head on. Thank You.