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I sit still in the safety of my Savior

by davesandel on December 2nd, 2019

I sit still in the safety of my Savior

Monday, December 2, 2019

Smoking cloud by day, light of flaming fire by night, over all, the Lord’s glory will be shelter and protection. ­

– From Isaiah 4

I have seen him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps. But these days I spend almost all my evenings indoors. My light flickers in bulbs or behind screens. Strangely, I must close my eyes to feel those watchfires, or touch the dewy ground, or see the flaming lanterns of the Lord.

That’s OK, though. My memories and imagination are alive and well. And because I am not captive in a prison or in a wheelchair, I can stand up, walk outside, and stare up at the moon.

They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps. Once with my hitchhiking buddy Jay, I laid out a sleeping bag on the side of an Arizona hill and slept until the morning sounds of Hopi Home Dance singing woke us both. After the July night’s desert rain had soaked us through, warm sun steamed up our bodies and our clothes. We settled in, sat and clapped with the music and felt the strength of all that structured, frenzied dancing. Sheltered in the arms of God, Jay and I and all of us grew strong surrounded by His glory.

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps. Poring over passages from Isaiah and David and John and Paul, the righteous sentence is clear and always the same. As Suzanne Stabile says, we are given only two unalienable rights: to love and to forgive. That we are free to do. For those gifts we are responsible. We are to receive them and pass them along. Lord knows, the Hopis have had plenty to forgive. But on their hill we felt encircled by their forgiveness and their love. His truth goes marching on.

*           *           *

Unable to live forever on our own, O Lord, we march on to the beat of your drum, no longer ours. Your drum sounds deep into my soul. Your drum draws me into the desert, through the dryness and finally to the pool. Your living, your water, your giving, your world.

“Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe, 1861. Julia heard the song in a dream, woke up and transcribed it, then sold it to the Atlantic Monthly for $4.

From Suzanne Stabile’s November 2019 seminar “Holidays and the Enneagram”

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