I heard your call, early in the morning. I slipped out, past my snoring cabin mates and I went…  out to the stillness. Out to the lake. Out to You. And there I settled, wrapped in my blanket, looking out at the lake stretching before me. Dark Lake, Camp Tamarack – where magic happens for my 5th graders every year. But with a sigh,  I sat there wondering…

Could magic happen for me?

“Jesus, I’m here. … will you talk with me?”

So I stopped talking. Stopped thinking. Stopped trying so. stinkin.’ hard.

and I hit “Pause.”

Pause on my thoughts.

Pause, to take a breath of the cool air.

Pause, … To feel the morning sun. To smell the spiciness of yesterday’s rain on the hillside. To listen for nothing and everything…


Before my eyes, life was living out its day.

Water, masquerading as a looking-glass.

Songbirds, singing.

Wind, playing tag among the trees.

Sun streaming through branches, dousing the rain speckled foliage.

Peace, settling into the quiet – like the morning mist rising with sun’s touch.

… And yet there stood the burnt trees.

– stark haunting gravestones –

peppering the hillside with Loneliness.

And then I heard His whisper, “What do you see, Sweetheart’?”

“I see a lake that was once beautiful. I see all the hope and potential of what it could have been. But look at it now… Fire has marred its beauty. It’s scarred and ugly. I know it’s supposed to still be beautiful

but all I see is tragic, ugly and sad.”

“Look closer, Punkin’ ”

So I paused again. But this time I pushed “STOP” on seeing all the up-in-your-face scars and I looked closer,


in between and just beyond the scarred matchsticks

… and I saw the hidden trees that survived.

Not easy to see.

Tucked behind the death and destruction of the fire, they stood – reaching up to the heavens. Crowns that had risen above the flames.

Some stripped of branches,

Some fully protected in others’ shadows

Some just starting life – doused in the light of the sun

– hidden in the shadows no more.



willing my eyes to see more

and soon they began popping into view…

Like magic.

I could see them everywhere

Beautiful survivors.

How strong they were to witness such devastation around them.

How courageous to stand among the flames and fiercely hope.

How beautifully proud, to hold their heads so high above the glaring scar.

Noble survivors

defying Death in their relentless pursuit of Life.

Could it be, perspective might change?  Could I see beyond the “in-your-face” destruction all around? Could I let my heart be captivated again by Beauty… simply for Beauty’s sake?

And could it be, in time, I might come to see the scar as beautiful too?

Is it possible Life is sometimes stripped of the here and now,

to give sight into the beyond?

I sat quietly and let it all soak in.

Quietly, Peace wrapped its blanket around my shoulders and Sun’s first rays warmed the last chill from my heart.

A songbird sang out in the distance.

All the “hidden” green gems splashed neon bright with Light’s touch.

And the new day touched the surrounding hills.

Gently, a whisper I couldn’t quite make out, swirled into the morning breeze, ruffling the water into flashes of sunlit diamonds … on this once Dark Lake.

I paused.

I listened.




… for the first time in such a long, long time

I saw Truth

I saw Hope

I saw a once destructive Fire

had opened up the sky

and let in the Light.

8 thoughts on “Pause

    1. A great reminder to pause, and look up and ask Our Lord to show us what He sees..

      Thanks again, Sis, for encouaging me to pause…💓

  1. Beautiful! So important to see the blessings and hope – it’s a lesson I’m still learning too.
    Your FMF Neighbour #59

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