In the Land of the Living


Jet lag has me up early today, fully awake and ready to go. Instead of fighting it, I get up. Some things aren’t worth a fight.

I arrive in the city while it is still sleeping. I see no homeless bodies curled up in alcoves and I am grateful. It’s too cold for anyone to have to sleep on the streets. My mind is busy going from one thought to another.

An attack at a university in Northwest Pakistan is the first news I see and my heart aches for a country and a place I called home for so many years. A country that has been victim to so many attacks; a country birthed in the violence of partition with neighboring India.

Politics in the  United States continue to look like a cartoon strip, drawn poorly and with poor dialogue but gaining attention despite these facts.

The stories I heard from refugee families in the past two weeks rattle around my brain – when you hear someone’s story, you become a part of it and they become a part of you.

Along with all those thoughts are the ones even closer to my heart – those young adults that call me mom, the ones I would give my life for. Each of them in their own worlds, worlds that bring joy and sorrow.

The cold wind whistles and my steps quicken. How do I quiet these thoughts and bring them into the wisdom of the God I love?  What and who redeems all of this?

Years ago a friend of mine told me that during times of turmoil, she clung to a verse in the Psalms:

I would have fainted, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!”*

I memorized the verse back then and it comes to my mind now. “The goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living”  

I walk up to Tremont Street, the streetlights guiding my way. Two sparrows sit on the sidewalk, chattering quietly. Glimpses of a sky brightening are over to the East and a sun will soon rise over the Atlantic Ocean. Small things? Maybe – but they are enough.

I see in them the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. And it is enough. 

*With thanks to Sharon Mall for sharing this Psalm with me so long ago.

*Psalm 27:13,14

6 thoughts on “In the Land of the Living

  1. Ps 27:13-14 are verses that I clung to during a difficult time overseas. This broken world could leave us so hopeless if we didn’t have that reassurance!


  2. Lowell and I were chatting this morning. I was confessing how hard it is to come back from a trip that was drenched with meaning to laundry and making lunches. We talked about the importance of finding meaning here. In this place. Now. Part of that meaning-quest must surely be searching out the goodness of God.
    Thank you Marilyn.


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