How faithfully your life is delivered.

The poem below expresses different aspects of my life of late. I’ve been reading David Bentley Hart’s book The Experience of God, and there is so much in there about how our life is a mysterious gift. We did not bring about our own existence, and we can’t keep ourselves alive, either. Why should we be here? Why is anything here? I’ve been meditating on that amazing everyday occurrence of waking up in the morning, even as I am coming out of my dreams into consciousness. Some days it takes longer than others for me to remember, “I am here, God was with me through the night and Dear Father, You are here with me in my bed this morning, and will be in me all day long.” Sometimes I lie there just being happy in His presence — especially when He wakes me up extra early.

Father Stephen Freeman spoke of the same reality in a podcast I listened to, saying, “If God did not immediately and relentlessly will good for us, then no one would even continue in existence. Being and existence are inherently good things. The very fact that we exist is itself a witness of God’s good will for us.”christ seeker of the lost-sheep-butryki-prison-chapel-moscow

I realize most people can’t be so slow and lazy about the start of their day. I am really really grateful, though, that most days I can take the time for this remembrance, because there is also this other attitude in me, of fear and unwillingness. I don’t like meetings with strangers about financial matters, or having to decide what work should be done on my car. It’s not a constant thing, but a feeling of vulnerability does distract me.

Once when we were on a camping trip in the mountains, four-year-old Soldier was looking out the window of the car at the curvy highway and the steep drop-off just to his left. He turned to Baby Kate and said brightly, “God is keeping us on the road, Kate!” He must have thought his father needed help driving. I need to remind myself in these morning meditations that this day I am not trusting strangers who might not be worthy of my confidence, but I am trusting the One Who gives me existence to give me whatever else I need.

TRUST

It’s like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—
all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

–Thomas R. Smith

14 thoughts on “How faithfully your life is delivered.

    1. I like that poem very much – it reminds me of how letters from a new-found Irish friend would include the initials “P.G.” which I learned stood for “(May it) Please God,” which thought was likely often under her breath and heart.

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    2. Albert, I had forgotten about that poem you linked me to – just now I was searching for a poem on my blog and I found your comment, and I read it again. Thank you, again!

      It reminds me of how we pray in the litany, that God would deliver us “from all affliction, wrath, danger and necessity,” and I feel that I have only started hearing those lines since my husband died. Now I pray those words in self-conscious need, thinking, That just about sums it up! We hope in Him.

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  1. Umm. Excellent words. THanks for the poem. I had to demonstrate that kind of trust just yesterday when I dropped off the 3 girls flying to Wash state for a week. I placed their notarized permission forms on the coffee table of the chaperone couple, wishing so much I had instead placed them in the man’s hands and SEEN him put them in some trustworthy leather pouch, prepared for the flight. But I left the house, having to trust that he was as responsible as I, or moreso 🙂 I also enjoy a long morning. I also feel that same “fear and unwillingness” toward life many days. Quite strong. Lately one verse has been on my mind, digging in. Gen. 35:3 — “and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” It’s Jacob speaking, Jacob the wanderer. Those last words are so rich and sweet to me — to have a companion God who never, ever leaves your side, Who is so invested in and interested in your life that He accompanies you and guides you. Marvelous.

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  2. Any and all of it is quite on point…touching the sore places and the worries….but “God is keeping us on the road…” broke right through and through. I will thank Him for keeping you on the beautiful road you take this day.

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  3. Yes, I feel what you mean about resisting some of these new things we have to learn when we no longer have our husband’s help. The main thing I seem to be realizing is that although I have a large and helpful family, I need to trust God for my help above all. We are all dependent on him one-on-one and I’m realizing it isn’t fair for me to lean too heavily on my children, though God may use them to meet some of my needs. But it’s a GOOD dependence and I want to learn to do it better. 🙂 It’s a long road through all the paperwork. That part has receded into the past mostly for me, thank the Lord! And you’ll make it through just fine, intelligent lady. I do love my days at home when I have the luxury of spending long hours contemplating and reading and praying. I look forward to being able to do more of that in the not too distant future. The Hart book sounds very good. Blessings and hugs, sister! (A seagull just landed in my backyard! It must be those bread bits I threw into the yard. Another little blessing from the Lord.) 🙂

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  4. Gretchen, I ADORE the poem…lately, thoughts of miracles and gifts are going thru my mind. Those “little” miracles and gifts of “simple” things…food in the fridge…electricity keeping the fridge going!…good health (not such a small thing)…being kept by God’s mercy, grace and kindness. Thanks for this post, it truly spoke to me.

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    1. Sandra, I like it better every time I read it, and appreciate the meaning of lines about a frozen river (me) getting to its destination anyway, or the wind (The Holy Spirit?) not being hindered by obstacles. The part about not knowing our own address is great. 😉

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  5. It’s wonderful, that God is with us, and in fact we are only here because He wills it so . . . for His joy and for ours. I read this when you posted it a few days ago and immediately forwarded the link to a friend who I knew would appreciate it, but forgot to comment till today. Thank you for sharing these words.

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  6. Thanks for sharing the gift of “what’s inside of you,” Gretchen. I could readily identify with the benefits of your vacation, reflecting on the intervening miles and what it revealed about the lives of those living there, the doubts and fears of “living alone” – each issue returning me to the faithfulness of our creator and the gift of life. Blessings on this new chapter for you… Laura

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