By Lowly Listening

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I could have gone to work today, but wisely and sanely, did not. Instead, another day in bed, surrounded by books, dogs, and cats. I sit, as Emerson would say, “lowly listening”. I found that quote in Phyllis Theroux’s charming The Journal Keeper.

“There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.”

That, followed by this excerpt from Sue Monk Kidd’s When The Heart Waits: “When you’re waiting, you’re not doing nothing. You’re doing the most important thing there is. You’re allowing your soul to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait, you can’t become what God created you to be.”

A week ago I hadn’t heard of either book. They were mentioned in something forgotten that I had been reading and I ordered them from the library. Of course the best thing about being married to a librarian is that she brings your requested books home for you, so I just happened to have them both around when I landed in bed for a couple days, waiting. Waiting to get better. Waiting to be patient with my symptoms. Waiting to learn what they could teach me. Waiting to hear from the “lowly listening” what I should be writing, if I should be writing.

And what I heard yesterday, sitting in the morning sun streaming through the dinette window, was this – “When what needs to be written is ready, it will come to you.” The words came to me over a bowl of cereal, not like God’s James Earl Jones voice, but more as italics in my head.

I nodded, and got a little teary with relief. I don’t have to worry anymore, wondering if I should be starting the Hold of the Bone sequel, or picking up the WWII novel destroyed in the fire, or a follow up to The River Within, or maybe a memoir about this amazing last year, or something I haven’t even thought of yet. Yeah, you see how crazy it gets up in there? But it’s quiet now. And I trust that when what needs to be written is ready, it will come. For now I wait.




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