Looking for green places
But they are not here yet
Just brown and brown,
grey and brown
The cold lingers a bit longer
Spring is shy.

I was tired today
Walking felt like a chore.
I walked and felt underwater with each step.
Everything was hard –
Cleaning – a chore
Writing – a chore
Being awake – a chore;

So I scaled everything back and practiced being quiet
My kids and I
Watched movies
Ate Chinese food
and talked
occasionally glancing out at the
brown grass, brown trees, grey March day.

There was so much I needed to do
but really
I needed to sit
and listen
for You.
Sometimes You seem so quiet…
or am I just being too loud?
All I know is that my spirit gets dry as dust
my bones all wither-y
and then
it is time to stop.
Stop and listen.
Stop and pray.
Stop and be.
Stop and look out the window
at the brown and grey,
wonder out loud,
sigh.

Oh – maybe someday I will be wise enough
to do this before my spirit feels parched.
Someday I will pretty much enlightened
Pretty much.
But not today.
Today I was tired
So I rested.
and I trust in the healing sleep will bring
and in the One who placed the stars in the sky
and in all that might yet be possible tomorrow.

Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at ruthehetland@gmail.com; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at ruthehetland@gmail.com.

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