He stretches out the north over the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon
and spreads over it his cloud.
He has inscribed a circle on the face of
the waters, at the boundary
between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the sea.
By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power,
who can understand?

Job 26. 7-14


I have one little window in my room. It’s rather small. I mean, it’s big enough for me to fit through if I stood on my bed and lunged myself through it, so I guess that’s a good thing. In case there was ever a fire, or some sort of invasion or something, I could scrape through and plummet gently two stories to the garden below. I’m supposedly getting a larger one installed sometime… but with a whole house renovation and remodel, my ridiculous little window is the very last of everyone’s worries and agenda. So, why am I describing my window woes? Give me a second and I’ll remember…

Oh. Yes, because it reminded me of my wall; which, reminded me of my bed, which reminded me of coffee which reminded me of my devotions. My bed reminds me of coffee mostly because every morning after I wake up, my addiction leads me stumbling into the kitchen, groping for the coffee grinder and espresso machine. And, after stumbling for my coffee, I stumble right back to my room, where I proceed to get my heart ready for the day.

Sometimes I get distracted. Like yesterday, there was this beetle bug (you know, those annoying “box elderbug” beetle things) and he seemed absolutely convicted within his little being that if he flew fast enough and slammed his body hard enough against the glass of my window, that he would magically get through. It made me wonder if God ever watches us, as we try to work through something that does not seem to work, or when we are trying desperately to make something happen. I can see his quizzical brow and amused smile as He mutters, “Um, it’s not going to work.” As we stupidly try yet again. “Nope. But, go on, slam your head against the glass. But, you’re not going to get through it that way. Believe me. But, hey, if you just wait and trust me for one minute, I’ll open the window and it would save you a ton of headaches.” I know He must be at His wit’s end with us sometimes. I know He’s sovereign and holy, but still. I know He must be with me. I can almost hear his exasperation, “Why did she do that again? Didn’t she learn anything from the 256 times before? Or “What is she doing now?” So, that’s why I desperately need my morning coffee and my “heart bender” time. It gets me on track. It keeps me focused.

This new year one of the books I am going through was given to me by a friend. It’s the Christian History, One Year book and I have really enjoyed it so far. I’ve read numerous stories of martyrs and heroes of the faith before when I was little, but now I have been reading of new people I honestly never knew existed in our Christian history! Today I read about Vibia Perpetua, a twenty-two year old mother of an infant son, who lived during the third century. She was mauled by a heifer in the amphitheater and then finally killed by the sword of the gladiators because she was a Christian. And yesterday I complained because I couldn't find my favorite pair of socks and because the day was overcast.

Oh God-- put my life in perspective!

“For He remembers our frame, he remembers that we are dust. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him." Psalm 103: 14, 17

So, this is my collection of rambling thoughts this fine, cloudy morning. My coffee’s cold now.


on beauty

"What is beauty? And when shall we call a thing beautiful? These, too, are questions no man has ever answered in such a way that all men have said, "Yes, now we know what beauty is and now we know how to tell the beautiful when we find it." The nearest that men have come to answering the question, "What is beautiful?" has been in their saying the beautiful is the appropriate, that which serves. No hat is a beautiful hat which does not fit you and which the wind can easily blow off your head. A Five-gallon Hat on a cowboy riding a horse on an Arizona ranch is beautiful- but the same hat on a crowded city street car would be out of place, inappropriate. No song is beautiful in a room where persons desire complete quiet. No polite behavior has beauty unless it has thought and consideration for others. The most beautiful room is the one which best serves those who live in it.

The most beautiful skyscrapers are those without extras stuck on after the real structure is finished. Why should a good, honest skyscraper have a dome or a mosque or a cement wedding cake plastered on top of it? Nearly always, what serves, what is appropriate to human use, is beautiful enough- without extras. A farm silo, a concrete grain elevator, a steel barge hauling iron ore on the Great Lakes, or a series of tall coal chutes rising as silhouettes on a moonlight night, may any one of them have as complete a beauty as the Greek Parthenon or a Gothic cathedral. Steichen, the photographer, declares he occasionally meets newspaper photographs which in design and as works of art are superior to many of the proclaimed masterpieces of painting and etching."

C. Sandburg
"Millions read without asking themselves why they read and whether in all their reading they have learned anything worth spending of their time. It was not for nothing Thoreau said an old newspaper would do him just as well as a new one.
Each of us can sit alone with our conscience for a
while on
the proposition of Robert Louis Stevenson,
that the intelligent man can find an Iliad of the
human race in a newspaper.

And any kindly philosopher could write a thick book on why the shrewd, tolerant reader enjoys even a stupid, vain, hypocritical book because the writer of the book is etching his own portrait on every page, stepping forth and talking off lines like one of the fools, clowns or pretenders in a Russian play."

an excerpt from Carly Moon,
by Carl Sandburg



How is one expected to heartlessly consume
something that looks as sad as this?