As I sit this moonlit autumn morning, I am drawn to my precious journal entries from my time at Christ in the Wilderness a few weeks ago. I read and peace begins to wash over me, and I find myself smiling.
“Oct. 10. Dear Father, Shepherd, Comforter, I am here at Paul of Tarsus! It always feels like I am coming home – no schedule, nothing I have to do except spend time with You! Thank You for this blessed place! Teach me new things; remove my burdens and let me sleep in peace, for You alone O Lord make me dwell in safety.
Ps. 4:8…. It is cozy in my hermitage. I love to recline in the old red chair – tonight the afghan feels cozy. I read and doze, read and doze. Time has gone by and it is after 10. The window is cracked and I hear the wind singing in the treetops. I wait to hear the night sounds – owls, coyotes, or other animals. The curtains are opened so that I will see the new day begin and possibly turkeys or deer near my hermitage. Time for bed. Being in this peaceful hermitage is like traveling to a time and place beyond
the noisy world. This is where we come to be blessed, refreshed, filled, and fueled. Your presence surrounds me, walks with me, and speaks to me. You have a purpose for my time here, Lord. Help me to make good use of it and to accomplish the purpose for which you sent me.”
“Oct. 11. 7:11 a.m. Good morning Dear Lord! Thank You for this new day. Even though it is a gray morning, the air is cool and the wind continues to dance through the woods. Thank you for bushes laden with red berries which will feed the wildlife; for the fat rabbit under the bird feeder; and the frame of orange leaves outside my window. Flickering candlelight, hymns softly playing, the aroma of coffee brewing; books, Bible. I praise you for the simple things in life which really are the greatest things of all. No noise. No schedule.
The birds seem much larger here than at home – cardinals, jays, red-breasted nuthatch, and the titmouse with beautiful black eyes and a crest on its head. “
“4:53 p.m. It occurs to me that the trees of the woods have lost many leaves and more sunlight is spilling through. I am watching the fluffy clouds racing across the autumn sky. I have done little today. Just to rest and watch the birds at the feeder and the brilliant leaves waving in the wind – it fills me with such a sense of wonder. “
“Oct. 12. Thank You for this new fall morning, Lord, and all the ways You have blessed me. I love spending time with you Dear One; we are never alone or lonely with our Heavenly Father present. I think this is the greatest truth we can know. You told us to come to You as little children, yet that is such a simple answer it seems it could not be the answer! We make life so complicated.“
“Oct. 13. Yesterday I ventured to the Upper Meadow and the Far Meadow. I laughed at a flock of turkeys, if turkeys are considered a “flock.” I wandered for quite some time, rested on a swing, or sat in a chair to pray and to think. I learned to tread carefully around the corners of the paths so as not to startle the deer grazing there. Wandering through the woods, I paused by the rushing brook, even finding a late-blooming violet or two.“
“I have had the most delightful afternoon having lunch and resting on the lovely front porch. I attempted to read but my thoughts were often interrupted by the variety of lovely birds at my feeder. “
“Oct. 14. Good early morning Lord! I will be leaving all too soon, but it has been a wonderfully refreshing time. I climb the hill behind Paul of Tarsus to watch the sunrise, waiting a few minutes for the sun to burst forth! I have startled a buck as he snorts, calling the doe that races out of the woods. Isn’t it amazing how little we really need to bring us joy? God is everywhere in His creation. I am rested, filled, at peace.”
My journal is now closed. Yet, the memories of those beautiful days at Christ in the Wilderness fill me with contentment and gratefulness for the blessings of that place. I will ever look forward to my visits at CITW. My cup overflows! Pam R, Oct. 2018