Gimme shelter….

ripplespeakThe last dregs of June were oppressive with
menacing heat and rain forest stickiness…the
thick humidity causing the gardens I tend to
bolt, clamoring for haircuts all at once. Overly
busy, I began baking as I worked to tame the

And wilting….my chest feeling tight like my heart
was curling up at the edges. Several times it got
too hot inside my head and I panicked….feeling
trapped and unable to find shelter fast or cool
enough. I longed for breezes to stir the stillness
…to dab at the sweat stinging my eyes.

My vision went wobbly with discouragement like a pond turning a sickly shade of green.
Everything seemed too big, too much, too hard. I needed shade bigger than the trees could make. One afternoon, worn down and drooping like a thirsty plant, my heart oozed out these painful words to God: “what kind of shepherd ARE you?” (Oh yes I did, and out loud too.)

There it was. The accusation my mind had avoided for years….like a shamefaced child fearful of looking up into disapproving eyes, darting away, head low and eyes down . In my foggy fatigue, I ran right into it like a stone wall. And in THAT place….in that no-go zone in my heart…I expected to encounter harsh indifference. Instead, what I received was responsiveness I still can’t find words to describe.

I was drawn into shade I sensed bubbling from deeper waters than I’ve ever experienced before. While the sun beat down, a peaceful calm settled over me….unlike the heat hanging above the ground but just as tangible. I was embraced by love….heaven soaking strands of emotional DNA and tangled perceptions until I felt bathed in cooling light.

My own judgments and opinions had been…well…. off. By miles. I stumbled into wonder and asked the question…..really asked it….instead of simmering in my assumptions. And in response, I was loved. And comforted. Like aloe to my blistered perspective, I was given shelter. Welcome, July….I’ve never felt less alone.


  1. rachel awes on July 2, 2010 at 3:06 am

    "blistered" perspective ~ there you go again
    w/beauty-speak! you sure found shade bigger than trees can make! & yes! love! i welcome july
    alongside you. xo

  2. Hindsfeet on July 2, 2010 at 4:03 am

    my dear, my dear…I'm running out of ways to say how *grateful* I am that our paths merged when they did…..your words here could've been mine…articulating my journey of late to a T….it has been such a "traveling mercy" meeting you…feeling "less alone" now myself….

    Thanks, as always Jennifer, for the gift of your camaraderie.

  3. Just Be Real on July 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Wonderful post here Jen! Upfront, close and personal. Blessings to you always and your uplifting spirit.

  4. PaperPumpkin on July 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I will be reading and rereading this one. Thank you for sharing these intimate feelings. I experienced something like you did…it was a feeling difficult to describe…yet, you did. Isn't it utterly amazing to always know we are not alone? Thank you. ~Kathy

  5. Mary on July 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Jen, thank you for being brave – we have those thoughts and are too fearful to ask……..
    afraid of that stern look, for the other shoe to drop, for that slap across the face……..
    and maybe the worse of all – to be ignored!!!

    even when we – I have had glimpses of his unconditional love, it's hard to ask!!!

    but how he longs for us to……..

  6. Bren on July 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Jen you know how much I love your descriptive, expressive writing, 'heart curling up at the edges. vision wobbly with discouragement' I could go on…but what moves me most is the rawness of your own heart, hung out there before God and man, naked and unashamed. I love that, am moved by that, am inspired by that and I yell back, yes! and amen! Who He truly is, and discovering that takes us into that place of 'living loved' and that my friend changes us at the heart level. I've been there with my ?'s with God, who's bigger than he to handle all the jumble of my own perceptions 🙂 Someday I'd like to see all you write in a book my friend.

  7. dulcy on July 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Jennifer… thank you for the lovely post. Your blog is beautiful, and I am moved by your writing. The photograph captures your words perfectly. Don't forget to wear a hat when gardening!


  8. Grandma Yellow Hair on July 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Jennifer I found you this morning from Dulcy site. So happy I clicked on your site because I so enjoyed my visit this morning and your writing is so beautiful.
    Take care and especially wear hats and drink lots of water while working outside

  9. S. Etole on July 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    The hard questions … the loving answers … we do have a Father who tenderly loves us.

  10. Sharron Leaf on July 5, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    mmmm…just took a big slurp of your writings…yum…keep it comin'!

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