“Martha had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” Luke 10:39 NIV
I sat on the banks of the Tennessee River for three weeks in late summer of 2022, reflecting on life. River Reflections is a series of vignettes I wrote about my experience. They are a collection of reflections: my own inner thoughts and/or nudges from the Holy Spirit, I do not know. I do know both my husband and I experienced the most peaceful vacation we have ever had. As you read these vignettes, I hope you experience this peace, too.
River Reflections: Sitting
“Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV
I sat on the upper balcony of my cousin’s magnificent home, trying to absorb the beauty before me. The house sat high above the landscaped lawn that ended on the banks of the Tennessee River. Across the river was a hillside lined with a variety of green trees and a holler replete with wispy mist rising like smoke. I knew the Smokey Mountains were just behind the hill, but I could not see them. It was like sensing God’s presence, but not seeing Him.
I was overwhelmed with emotions as I helped my cousin prepare his enormous home to put on the market. Staging the lovely furniture was easy. Each room had a wall of windows overlooking the river: the house would sell itself. The hardest part of my day was the hours spent sorting and organizing his wife’s personal items. She had countless quilting supplies. She had a gift for patching quilts as well as patching people.
One day, I took a much needed break and just sat on the balcony. In fact, sitting alone on the balcony became a welcome part of each day. Sitting was an unusual activity for me: I am a “doer,” not a sitter! I mused, “When was the last time I sat and did nothing?” After much thought, I remember a time years ago.
My mother had dementia in her later years. She had a caregiver, but there were so many details I needed to do. Mom lived over 200 miles away and I could only visit her one weekend a month. On each visit, I frantically worked to get everything done.
One day as I rushed around the house, my mother called to me, “Come sit with me.” I replied, “Oh Mom, I have so much to do.” She repeated, “Come, just sit with me.” Reluctantly, I sat on the sofa beside her recliner, thinking about all the things I needed to do. Slowly, my mind cleared and we both sat in silence. A hush filled the air and I experienced a communion of spirit with her that I will always cherish.
I reflected. Is God calling us: “Come, just sit with me.”
“You know when I sit and when I rise,
You perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139: 2b NIV