The holy spirit is a tricky one. It is flashy and showy.

Sometimes it is depicted with the color red. Red is fire and transformation. It means stop. It is action. It is blood. It is part of why there are prohibitions against eating meat that still has blood in it. Blood is part of the Spirit. A body that has no blood in it is dead. The blood moves. It gives life and sends nutrients to the cells.

But today it is calling to me in blue. It is the bright blue of police lights (thankfully not pulling me over). It is a deep sky blue of the sky, of the ocean. It is catching my eye today, everywhere I look.

Mary wore blue. Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary allowed the Spirit to get as close as possible, to know her and be known by her. It is that blue, and that purpose.

I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.

Am I willing to let Jesus in that closely, that intimately?

What am I afraid of?

Even if I never jump in that ocean, he is still there. As near as I’ll let him. The closer I let him, the more he can do.

Blue. Blue of depth, of healing, of breath.

Come, Lord Jesus. Look into my eyes and see yourself.

Let me be OK with this. Let me not be afraid. And when I am afraid, fill in the gaps with your love, fill up my brokenness and my fear and my anger. The gaps are how you get in.

Celebrate them.

Blue upon blue upon blue.

The blue beyond, the drowning. Can I swim? Am I strong enough yet? Am I ready? Am I pushing too hard too fast?

That frog and his tail.

The tale of the frog.

There was a time when I was young and we’d caught some tadpoles in a pond. We brought them home in a plastic cup and put them in a big pan on the porch. I watched them grow, and saw their little legs come out. I was so eager for them to become frogs that I decided to help them – to pull on their tails to get them to come off sooner.

This didn’t work. The frogs died.

Now, perhaps they died because they weren’t getting fresh water because they were in a pail on my porch, but that isn’t the point of the story. I remember this as a lesson to be patient, and let things take their course. People don’t transition from swimming to hopping in one quick motion.

But I’m transforming. I can feel it. Maybe this is why I like salamanders so much. They are land and water creatures. Both. Not either-or.

Come, Lord Jesus,

Let it be unto me according to your will.

Even standing in the shallows you overwhelm me.

Love. Don’t resist. Let it happen. I’ve got you. I made you and I know what you can handle.

This is weird. Who is writing these words? Who is speaking with my mouth?


(This was written just after visiting with my spiritual director.)


I’ve noticed that I want to pin down words like butterflies. They come to me and I want to stop them, to hold them. I want to look at them again and again.

I’m doing it right now.

I write to understand. I write to discover. I write to remember.

I don’t want to lose a single idea. There are so many. The more I write, the more things I have to write about. It is a deep well. But then I’m afraid it isn’t deep. I’m afraid it will dry up and leave me stranded, holding this bucket, looking stupid, standing at this well.

I remember the story of Jesus standing at the well with the Samaritan woman, in John 4:1-26. She was an outsider, someone that Jews weren’t supposed to associate with. Jesus is all about that. Jesus is all about the outcast, the outsider. The leper. The menstruating woman. The tax collector.

He tells her about living water, water that will never run out. He is that water.

Maybe if I tap into that living water I’ll feel safe. I’ll feel like I’ll have an inexhaustible supply of words.

I have a feeling I’m only standing in the shallows right now. Knee deep, looking out at the ocean, breathing in the salt air, listening to the gulls.

I feel like I’d like to jump in, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid of drowning. I’m afraid of losing myself. I’m afraid of it all being too much.

I catch words in my journal and I string them together in my blog. I feel like I’ve put out an antenna to God. Hey, I’m here! I’m listening! Give me what you’ve got. Talk to me.

I feel like if I stop listening then God will stop talking.

Well, deep down I know that God won’t stop talking, but I feel like I’ll stop being able to hear.

But butterflies are more beautiful when they are flying. And the truth that can be spoken isn’t the real truth. Truth can’t be pinned down, but you can point towards it.

I know my words aren’t everything, and that not many people read them. I know that I understand things more when I write. I’ve had a few people tell me that they understand things better when they read what I’ve written.

So I keep writing. I’m trying to find a better balance with my notebook though – to not be so obsessive about writing every thought down. Patience and faith are part of it I think.