I am waiting, with Lawrence, for a rebirth of wonder.

I am waiting, with Tolstoy, for a happy family.

I am waiting, with Emily Gibbs, for us all to wake up.

I am waiting for Clark Kent to reveal his true identity.

I am waiting, with the Brothers Grimm, to live happily ever after.

I am waiting, with Charles, for it to be only the best of times.

I am waiting, with Christy, to pick flowers in the woods with Fairlight.

I am waiting for James Bond to burst through the skylight at the last minute.

And I am waiting to be welcomed into a room of my own–where he is waiting,

      “You are here”, he will say.

      “Yes,” I will say.


Last night, I returned to the rooming house where I first lived in this college town, 34 years ago. Invited to talk about forgiveness and inner healing to an ecumenical, international bible study, I encouraged young believers that they, too, could be delivered from shame and unforgiveness.

I was full of unrealized bitterness the day I moved into the room at the top of the stairs. Having deposited my earthly goods earlier, I returned to find my new roommate kneeling by the side of the bed. "I’m praying," she said. "I’ll be with you in 20 minutes."

I laid on my bed and turned my back to her. Though I was on a search for "truth," I wasn’t interested in Jesus.

But I began to wonder if Jesus was truth that semester I lived with Rosina and by January, I told him, "Jesus, if you’re there, I want to know about it."

As soon as I said the words, that long-ago day, I sensed a presence, the same presence that filled the living room of that same house last night. As I sang of Jesus’ deep, deep love with his people gathered from around the world yesterday evening, I felt the tears on my cheeks. Only Jesus.

Only Jesus can heal hearts.

Only Jesus can give faith.

Only Jesus will deliver us from our sin and the effects of others’ sin.

Jesus, you are deliverer. We need you to continue to deliver us from our unforgiveness and shame and to bring us safely into your heavenly kingdom, as you have promised. Thank you.


Psalm 55:7 refers to the quiet of the wilderness.  The wilderness image is an image of suffering. Those times when we feel dry and deserted, alone in a wasteland. In pain, we have the choice to distract ourselves to try to drown out the despair and sometimes, momentarily, that is what we need.

And yet, if we allow ourselves to live in that wilderness, we will find that quiet. It is a quieting of all the voices of the media and other people because in the midst of isolating pain, we pay little attention to anyone else.

The wild quietness allows us to hear God’s voice. We learn to value his voice in the lonely wildnerness. We recognize our weakness, our need for strength and comfort. We have the opportunity to be pressed hard into his strong arms.

Jesus, some of us are wandering and lonely today. Give us grace to listen carefully.