Only Partly Alive








You who believe,
and you who sometimes believe and sometimes don’t believe much of anything,
and you who would give almost anything to believe if only you could.

You happy ones and you who can hardly remember what it was like once to be happy.

You who know where you’re going and how to get there
and you who much of the time aren’t sure you’re getting anywhere.

“Get up,” he says, all of you – all of you! –
and the power that is in him is the power to give life not just to the dead like the child,

but to those who are only partly alive,
which is to say to people like you and me

who much of the time live with our lives closed to the wild beauty and miracle of things, including the wild beauty and miracle of every day we live

and even of ourselves.

~Frederick Buechner -Originally published in Secrets in the Dark







May I never just be partly alive…

To be fully alive to the wild beauty and miracle of every day,
I also must know disappointment and discouragement
and death.

It is part of the package:
the shadows as well as the brilliance.

I heed the call to “get up!” no matter what.

And believe
~truly believe~
I am called to be alive this day.







2 thoughts on “Only Partly Alive

  1. oh emily, you have hit the exact thing we needed to hear today…and every day. health issues and “stuff” have hit us hard the last few weeks. it is so easy to forget to trust Him for our EVERY need, but He proves faithful in spite of ourselves. thank you…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your clearly-stated reasoning is so knowing and practical, Emily. So is Buechner’s. I do like his writing and own many of his books. He minces no words, tells it like it is (as you do). As human beings, as citizens of this nation and the world, as those who profess love of our Creator God and the tenets of the faith we accept we must recognize the signs of the times — the ancient prophetic biblical warning about the ‘writing on the wall.’ The current world events unfolding before us every day, vividly picturing the perilous effect upon humanity as so many have chosen to follow the path of the godless forces of evil and destruction. We no longer have the luxury of time to talk around or to debate issues as our media’s ‘talking heads’ do. We must not fail to admit our responsibility to share the saving Good News of Jesus’ earthly mission and to provide love and assistance to all who are suffering and despised, and who are barely existing on the bare fringes of society. We must walk with them as Jesus charged us to do — as He did, to the very end. There is too much suffering and spiritual poverty wherever we look to deny whatever cost we may be called upon to make in accepting His call to discipleship.

    The metaphor of ‘the package’ is especially apt for what we are facing today. Most of the contents of our ‘package’ are pure gift – and cannot, or should not, be returned or refused. We are, however, encouraged to share the contents — for all in need, and in honor and expectation of the fulfillment of the Kingdom. Because we have the gift of the Holy Spirit’s Presence within, we can trust that He will guide and protect us….

    Thank you, Emily, for always finding and sharing the right words….

    Liked by 2 people

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