God’s Country


Lord willing and the crick don’t rise…

Yesterday morning Lauren got up, looked out of the window at the rain and said, “I hope the creek doesn’t rise…” It sounded funny coming out of her mouth, proper English and all, but the fact is, we have a new thing to worry about. According to neighbor Bob, too much rain and the creek becomes impassable and I am trapped here with nothing to eat but canned goods or Fiona.

Bob also said, “Welcome to God’s country.”

It’s Sunday, and this got me thinking: what is God’s country? It is easy to see God in the beautiful places – to know of the existence of the creator where palm trees sway or the creek runs with crystal clear water spilling over moss covered rocks. I am fortunate to have been many places where God’s handiwork is evident: on the ocean in Los Palmas; in the tiki hut at Blue Heaven on Staniel Cay; before a roaring fire in a manor house in the Scottish Highlands; Up North in Michigan; tramping through the dried oak leaves with Lauren in Hiawassee, Georgia.

But, the ugly places are God’s country too.

I have made a lot of footfalls in ugly places. I have lived a lot of years skirting the God sized hole in my life: filling it with a chokehold of white wine and smart talk… It is only recently, with a clear head, I have begun to realize God’s stronghold, even in the most profoundly desperate places I have been.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, it does make a sound…

Today I’m not drinking because I am going hiking with Lauren.

How come you’re not drinking?