Lenten Grace — We are All Sojourners

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

“I alternate between thinking of the planet as home
– dear and familiar stone hearth and garden –
and as a hard land of exile in which we are all sojourners.”
~Annie Dillard from Teaching a Stone To Talk

I find it very difficult to admit I am as temporary as a dew drop on a leaf, a mere mirrored reflection of this incredible place where I dwell.  I want it to last, I want it etched in stone, I want to be remembered beyond the next generation, I want not to be lost to the ether.

Yet I, like everyone, am sojourner only, not settled and certainly not lasting.   As a garden flourishes and then dies back, so will I.  This is exile in the wilderness until I am led back home.

Home.  Really home.

Forever etched on His heart.

Forever dwelling within His Hand.

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

3 thoughts on “Lenten Grace — We are All Sojourners

  1. Yes, we are sojourners. The reality of that idea hits me often. In a very practical way: when I make a doctor’s or other appointment for months in advance, I think to myself, “I’m presuming that I’ll still be here to keep that appointment!”

    I feel closer to “going home” now more than ever before. I’m trying to share things with my son and my grandchildren that, hopefully, they will remember when they get to that age when they begin to ask the really important questions. I send my grandchildren books with notations that they will know when it is time to read the books. I witness to my faith to strangers — in diners, stores, in my exercise class, wherever I feel receptivity in a person. Smiling at and meeting a person’s eyes will usually give me that tacit feedback. Another way of expressing this perhaps is to believe and be aware that it is always the work of the Holy Spirit that enables this mutuality to happen.

    One place where I find it very difficult to witness to strangers is on the internet. Not being able to see a person’s eyes or to get feedback from their speech inflection or body language is risky. I had one very emotionally painful experience that has made me extremely cautious to do this. And even exercising this caution, it can take months to develop a trusting rapport.

    The symbolism of Ash Wednesday, together with the beautiful prayers said during the rite, powerfully remind us that, indeed, we are on a journey that will end. The gift of our faith tells us that we always have been destined to be in our true eternal home in God’s loving presence — temporal bodies changed, journey completed.

    Thank you, beautiful woman, for helping to bring these thoughts to my mind today.

    P.S. Josh’s pics of the Washington mountains are mesmerizing. You are surrounded by so much natural beauty.


  2. Alice, you better not “go home” before I have a chance to meet you in the flesh in this world here. I am constantly amazed by what you write and who you are 🙂


  3. Thank you, Emily.

    It is the Spirit within YOU that has stirred these thoughts in me. You have been a ‘doctor’ to my soul. The ‘meds’ that you use to treat me are everything that you use to flesh out your intimate messages — the pictures, the poetry and quotes — but, primarily, it is your wisdom, your comments and interpretations that emanate from your love of Christ, your love and appreciation of His beautiful creation, your life experience, your suffering. Your unique God-given gift is that you see and interpret with the eyes of your soul. That is so holy and so profound a gift, and you use it freely and wisely.

    So, my dear sister in Christ, don’t you ever think that your blog does not touch people ‘out there.’ You DO reach people — hurting people, lonely people, and people who understand exactly what you are saying because you hit them where they live.


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