Fading Away



photo by Kate Steensma


Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.
~Walt Whitman “A Farm-Picture”



When the light rises on the hills,
slowly fading the haze of a late summer morning,
I feel the veil lift enough
that I am able to see
far beyond my reach or grasp.
The horizon extends on and on forever
and I will endure another descent into winter.





Called to Advent–enduring

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it, when we are slandered, we answer kindly.
1 Corinthians 4:12

I wear several different types of gloves in my personal and professional life. At home, every day, as I prepare for barn chores I pull on old work gloves with holes and rips that still manage to protect my hands from blisters and briers as I shovel manure and lift hay bales. During the cold winters, I wear soft mittens when I venture outside. During gardening season, gloves keep my hands and fingernails from getting so grimy that I can’t scrub them clean afterward. During blackberry picking season, I wear protective gloves to help reduce the scratches and pokes from the thorny vines. At work, I don disposable plastic gloves many times a day as I palpate rash lesions, open up abscesses, sew up lacerations, probe orifices. Gloves protect me but also protect my patients.

There are times I wish I could pull a glove over all of me when it is a struggle to endure what life dishes out, when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, or stretched by responsibility, or worn thin by worry. I know in my heart there is no glove that can buffer me more effectively than His Word. The knowledge of His faithfulness is protection enough to help me endure the hard times.

Then what I put on is holy, but unlike my old well-worn work gloves, this holiness inspires my work to change the world, one shovelful, one trench, one basket of fruit, or one hurting patient at a time.

You can endure change by pondering His permanence.
Max Lucado

Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick