The Place of Right Here

It was the day I jumped out of bed at 6:15, because we both slept through the 5:30 alarm and had to leave the house at 6:45. Somehow we made it out the door with coffee, fully dressed with fixed hair…at 6:50.

On the way home, I hit slush and the car went spinning sideways. I corrected and it spun to the right and back to the left and there I was fishtailing on a country road in the middle of barely any-man’s land with a baby in the backseat and a dead cell phone. 

It felt like I was swerving much longer than a few seconds, but it really was just a quick moment before the car was fully corrected and driving carefully straight again, the song on the radio playing, “God is holding you right now”.

A couple hours later, I try to leave for the doctor’s office and I back out of the driveway and my tires slide to the left and shrink into the snow bank. I push the gas and it’s nothing but spinning tires.

No!” I say it slow and quiet and I feel wild with desperation. I might as well be in a snow bank out in the country. The neighbors are all gone and there’s no one in sight. I start shoveling.

Somehow I get Kyle dropped off to play with Carson and I’m sitting in the doctor’s office just a few minutes late. Leo is sleeping and I’m waiting in agony for the shots to be done when they come out and tell me they ran out of vaccines.

I just sit and stare. What was the point of the whole morning, almost driving into a ditch and getting stuck in my own driveway? The anxiety and frustration and the close call?

My favorite part of the day is right after lunch. I sit and rock my baby and sing, I Love You Forever like a broken record. He stares at me over his bottle, wide brown eyes, and I watch them grow heavy and slowly droop shut. I lay him down and then I wash Kyle’s hands and face and we snuggle under his blanket with his “Little Man” and read books.

The lady who wrote Sarah, Plain & Tall wrote a short masterpiece of storybook literature called, All the Places to Love. I’ve read it many times before, but every time I’m spellbound and captivated by the true-to-life pictures and the simplistic, real-life story.

All the places to love are here, I’ll tell her, no matter where you may live. Where else, I will say, does an old turtle crossing the path make all the difference in the world?

Kyle doesn’t get it, but I want to. All the places to love are here…no matter where you may live.

All the places to love are the places right here.

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Here.

Something in me tells that’s the key word.

The man slaughtered in Ecuador, Jim Elliot? He said, Wherever you are, be all there.

Be all there in the place of right here, wherever right here is.

Because when Moses looked at God and said, Who am I to do what you are asking me to do? God said, “Certainly I will be with you,” and called Himself the I Am.

Maybe we’ve got this whole thing of self-esteem downright wrong.

Moses stood shaking in his bare feet before the Burning Bush, before the Almighty God, crying out – “Who am I?” and God didn’t answer back, injecting Moses with “you-can-do-it”, “I believe-in-you” affirmation. 

He said, “I am that I am.”

I slid across the road and spun deep ruts in wet snow and said, “I can’t do this today, God!”

I hold my baby-love close and shake my head no at the thought of giving him up.

My eyes seep salty water those gray mornings after sleepless nights.

I chafe against the hard things, like an SOS pad and a pan of burnt-on rice.

I think I can but I can’t, this thing of living all there in the place of right here.

And God flies in the face of popular notions about self-respect and says, “Depend on me.”

You right there?

You can all there in the place of right here, because He is –

I AmIMG_8252

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2 thoughts on “The Place of Right Here

  1. I care about your hard day! But what I really want to say right now is Aaaaaahhhh!!! [delighted yell] Thanks for introducing me to “All the Places to Love”! I’ve always liked Patricia MachLachlan (Baby is my favorite) but I never heard she wrote a picture book. Lovely!

  2. It is one you want to own. It’s lovely – perfectly lovely. I cried the first time I read it – yes, tears over a child’s storybook. And the pictures are beautiful.

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