A Bright and Shining Place

It is 6:15 and my husband just left for work. I love this time of day. Our house is at the edge of a thick forest, and through the windows of that side it still looks dark outside, but on the other side it’s as bright as day. 

I am laying in bed again and our daughter is nursing, having slept through the night. As we roll over and switch to the other side, I can see her smile in the morning light. 

Words come to my mind, words from worlds away now, so long has it been since I remembered them in this new life of mundane living—building a house, making a home, becoming a wife and mother so quickly…

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

You will sound so wise and well read if you keep this quote up your sleeve. Everyone will nod and look into the distance as if at a great vision, doubly impressed that you know how to pronounce his name (whether you really do or not). No one will admit how unhelpful it is to be handed a riddle as a definition, or that they have no earthly idea and just a sliver of a fool’s hope about their own journey toward this bright shining intersection: the well of God’s calling, bubbling forth some place they’ve never been, or perhaps in their own back yard. 

I remember thinking years ago, down the rabbit trail of what Mr. Buechner was on about, that perhaps it’s like falling in love. Perhaps you know when you know. Shazam. Just like in the movies. Suddenly your eyes are open and your life is never the same, and you know in the deepest part of you that, yes, this is the place, that lovely place, rumored but doubted, now suddenly solid ground beneath your feet.

Well, dear reader, it is like that. 

When I look down at my daughters smile, her silly morning satisfaction in being fed and having her desires met, my heart leaps up in limitless gladness. Maybe it’s not the world’s hunger, but in a way, it is. She is like us all, every human, just wanting to be taken seriously, slowed down for, given the chance to be small, waited on, not taken for granted, treasured just as much eleven months and two days into the relationship as she was on day one…

to be so very precious to someone who, feeding you, amazed, knows she will do nothing more important in her life than this, nothing more important in her day than this moment, and considering this, knows herself forever blessed. 

If this seems like an emotional tribute to a fleeting season, you are right. I am painfully mindful that once she is weaned I will never be able to comfort my baby as easily or quickly as I can today. She is in a way being weaned from me, and will reckon with this world more and more on her own, and my heart breaks with how quickly this time has come.

But not to leave us all wiping our noses with our nightgowns, here are a few happy things:

If you like this place, you will also like Still Traveling, and I thought this post was especially good: Go on, and be specific – tell us who we should marry. Maybe you’ve been married for fifty years or maybe you’re a fledgling; maybe you have a friend that you love like a sister or a brother. Whoever they are, I bet you know the secret to loving them. I bet, even, that if they have the audacity not to wake you each morning with a Michelin Star omelet, you’ll suffer to keep them around.

I would say, marry a man who could kiss you and your baby so many times in a row that you literally have to run away just to get anything accomplished that day. Marry a man who gets so caught up in planing a shelf to make it perfectly level that he forgets you are on the same planet as him. Marry a man who is as kind and respectful to the dumpy rambling stranger, as to the beautiful and powerful. Marry a man who will laugh with you when you both remember how you snapped at him in the middle of the night and said something shockingly selfish in your sleep, who will bring you a cup of coffee just the way you love it while he laughs at you for being such an obvious little sinner. Marry that man.

And then, a dear old friend is now sharing her poetry every Sunday and they are beautiful: https://towardslight.substack.com

And finally, I had something published at Fathom recently here.

And now that’s it! There isn’t any more! You must be on your way!

One thought on “A Bright and Shining Place

  1. Sarah,

    Your piece at Fathom is so beautiful. You write with such a quiet force. I am so glad to see your name in a magazine! Very deserved.

    And thank you for sharing my piece. I really loved reading your “marry a man who’s.”


    Liked by 1 person

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